New Fox News piece: Passing the Proposed Drug Amendment Could Be Harmful to Your Health

My new Fox News piece starts this way:

For days now, the health care legislation in the Senate has been stalled. Democrats are divided over a proposed amendment that would let consumers buy pharmaceuticals from abroad. During the presidential campaign, Obama promised to allow such purchases. But earlier this year he announced his opposition in return for pharmaceutical companies promising to spend at least $150 million, and possibly as much as $200 million, to push his health care legislation.

President Obama obviously faces a dilemma: either he keeps the campaign promise he made to voters or he keep his later promise to drug companies. Passing the proposed drug amendment may bring down the entire health care bill, losing the votes the votes of Democratic Senators from New Jersey and Delaware, where the largest pharmaceutical companies are located. Politico reports: "Senate Democratic leaders are blaming Republicans for the hold up, but insiders argue that those leaders are trying to figure out how to give Democratic Sen. Byron Dorgan (N.D.) a vote on his amendment without busting the carefully crafted and fiercely protected deal between drug companies and the White House. Some Democrats worry that a broken [Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America] agreement could send health reform completely off the rails." "[The pharmaceutical] industry support is considered a key to passage," the The Los Angeles Times claims.

Americans are upset that Canadians can buy American-produced drugs at a lower price than Americans, especially since nearly all of their prescription drugs are made in the U.S. in the first place. . . .

The vote on all this is apparently scheduled for Tuesday.

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