Legislators Demonstrate Why State Health Care Is Terrible Idea

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SB 5892 is a measure to save costs in state-sponsored health care programs. The state has already been allowed to rewrite doctor prescriptions, but SB 5892 goes further.

It says, "A state purchased health care program may immediately designate an available, less expensive generic product in a previously reviewed drug class as preferred, without first submitting the product to review by the pharmacy and therapeutics committee."

It adds, "If, within a therapeutic class, there is a therapeutic alternative over-the-counter drug available, a state purchased health care program may automatically designate the over-the-counter drug as the preferred drug."

We know that generic and OTC drugs are often not the same, including differences in side effects, drug interactions, and methods of working.

There's plenty of other new powers the law would give to the state over doctors' wishes. Perhaps even worse is limiting doctors' abilities to prescribe drugs for treatments not listed on the drugs' labels, which removes the ability of doctors to prescribe new and promising treatments for a wide range of medical problems.

Not only does this bill have the negative immediate effect of reducing the potential quality of care for lower income Washingtonians, but it should serve as a warning to all of us, as many people want government to subsidize our health care, and we are seeing proof that the government is quite willing to sacrifice our care for money.

I have word there's a hearing tomorrow; I'll post when I get details. slashdot.org

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