Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Friday, September 25, 2009

Pharma Chameleon

Good Heavens, Megan McArdle is still trying to convince people she wasn't lying about health care innovation. If she doesn't learn to let go she's not going to have a very good marriage with young Mr. Suderman.

When I was talking about pharma's role in innovation, a lot of people confused this with being pro-pharma.
No, mainly we thought you were pulling statistics out of your ass. We just assumed that lying to support pharma meant you supported pharma.
The implication was that I should be in favor of anything that's good for Big CDrugs.
Are you on Big CDrugs right now, or are you just an unprofessional writer?
This is sort of like thinking that because I like watching Derek Jeter play baseball, I would also enjoy watching him stab a puppy to death.
Drugs it is.
Hence I am not happy, but outraged, by this:
Time for a brief comment on health care reform, now that Sen. Baucus has presented a bill to the Finance Committee (which, to be sure, I believe has already attracted over 500 proposed amendments). As is well known, the largest drug industry trade group, PhRMA, signed on to the whole idea of a large reform effort early, in exchange for a seat at the table (and a chance to make things go favorably). How's that working out so far?

As Steve Usdin at Biocentury writes, the answer is "fairly blatantly"...

[snip]

The tax put on medical devices by this bill has already been noted widely in the press, and I see that Sen. Kerry is already objecting to that provision - naturally enough, since Massachusetts has some big players in that area. The Senators from Guidant and Medtronics (also known as Indiana and Minnesota) are speaking up as well. The trade association for that industry (AdvaMed) apparently couldn't come to terms with Washington, so this tax is their reward - which, in a nutshell, is the sort of thing that keeps gradually turning me into a libertarian.
Profits are good when they result from providing a service people want.
That's not what you said before. You said Americans had to pay higher prices for drugs than Europeans because those profits financed innovation, which would save millions of lives in the future. The natural inference is that any higher American profits lead to more innovation.
When they are the result of capturing the government by cutting special deals, they're immoral and inefficient. And this is just the beginning . . .
Because special deals with corporations are a brand-new innovation, never tried before, and certainly not an issue when Bush cut a deal with pharma to pay full price for Medicare drugs.

The entire health insurance industry is immoral and inefficient, yet McArdle says we must keep it as it is or millions will die. She has no problem with that.

Tune in next week, when McArdle discovers that people are dying in Afghanistan and declares it's all Obama's fault.

4 comments:

clever pseudonym said...

Yes, I just can't see how anyone might possibly confuse her constant defense of Big Pharma as being pro-pharma.

Megan, the only time anyone is confused by your writing is when you are incoherent. When they misunderstand your point, it is because you have not made it well. When people fail to grasp your arguments, it's because of your failure as a writer to convey them. Stop blaming everyone else for not being smart enough to compute what you say.

My goodness, she can really be infuriatingly condescending in her assumptions that she's just sooooo much smarter than everyone else.

Susan of Texas said...

If she were actually smarter I could ignore it, but there's nothing more maddening than an idiot telling you she's smarter than everyone else.

clever pseudonym said...

Exactly. It's worse than dealing with a know-it-all teenager, since Megan is a grown woman who should have developed at least some sense of humility by now. She just BSs her way through virtually every topic known to man and honestly believes nobody reading will realize how full of it she is.

She did stop recipe blogging, though. So maybe she is capable of learning, if only on the smallest of levels.

Susan of Texas said...

Yes, she's had to clean up her act a little.

She bs'ed her way through school (according to her own words) and evidently hasn't stopped since.