Cost of drugs
Why would Congress make it illegal for Health and Human Services to negotiate better prices for Medicare prescriptions?
Because corrupt politicians benefit from the graft disguised as lobbying and political contributions.
In his March 24 commentary (“Prescription drug price controls pose lethal problems”), Thomas P. Stossel conveniently ignored these investments into lobbying and politics (more than $250 million annually) by drug companies.
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He also didn’t mention CEO annual salaries for the top 10 drug companies, which range from $5 million to $35 million.
Stossel’s subtle threat that your health and lifespan will be compromised is a common messaging technique of an industry that feeds at the public trough.
I question the $2.5 billion cost associated with the Food and the Drug Administration evaluation process. Perhaps the 12 percent approval rate is too high, since we know the court dockets are crowded with class-action suits even while TV commercials continue to espouse the benefits of those drugs.
These drug (snake oil) ads target sufferers with such messages as “live longer,” “remission is possible” and my favorite: “less major bleeding.”
Paul Martin, Hurst
Regarding Bob Jackson’s Wednesday commentary, “Social Security benefit fix would help Texas teachers and retirees”:
When I started teaching in Dallas school district in 1962, I had no choice about paying into the Texas Teacher Retirement System, which I did for 23 years.
Then, I moved to a private school, where I was given no choice about paying into Social Security for 17 years.
When I retired, I learned that my Social Security benefits would be reduced by 40 percent because I would also be drawing TRS — the total of both being under $2,000 a month.
This is totally unfair, especially since I was forced to pay into the two programs. Many people are being punished for being Texas public school teachers.
Even more unfair is that this rule applies to teachers in only 14 states. If a person pays into more than one retirement system, that person should be allowed to draw from more than one system.
I fully support HR 711.
Margaret C. Hamlin,
Thanks to Bob Jackson for his commentary on the Social Security benefit fix. The Windfall Elimination Provision needs to be eliminated.
I paid into Social Security for half of my nursing career and into the Teacher Retirement System for the other half.
I don’t think I should be penalized for those “Social Security years” because I became a school nurse in Texas. No other retirement plan would punish me in such a manner.
Ferrol Miller, Azle
It is time that law enforcement agencies have limited access to encrypted data, comparable to the access provided under settled law regarding wiretaps and search warrants.
The right to personal privacy is a fundamental principle of civilized society, but so is the right to life and liberty.
Law enforcement agencies should be able to act when there is substantial information to suggest that the life and liberty of citizens are at risk.
The recent disclosure that the federal government has succeeded in accessing information on an encrypted device raises the concern that criminal and terrorist organizations may be able to do likewise.
It is reasonable to provide law enforcement with limited access to information when criminal organizations may act with no restrictions whatsoever.
Karen Myers, Fort Worth
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