Despite, or perhaps in part because of, the current administration’s continuing efforts to sabotage the Affordable Care Act, there is some good news on the health care front. And — surprise — it’s coming from corporate America.
In January, it was reported that several large hospital corporations are planning to form a non-profit company intended to challenge the very powerful and profitable pharmaceutical industry. Hospitals are fed up with drug industry practices, which have created serious shortages of basic generic medications needed to provide a variety of essential health care services. They are also concerned about the rapidly escalating costs of many drugs, including generics. They are seeking to create a market solution that will eliminate shortages and lower costs for themselves and ultimately for patients and taxpayers.
Ideally, the federal government should be addressing these issues of artificial shortages and unjustified price increases in drugs, but in the face of government inaction, this kind of corporate action may be the only way to counter the profiteering practices of the pharmaceutical industry.
Public opinion polls show an increasing popularity of the Affordable Care Act — 50 to 60 percent. Now is the time for those of us concerned about health care to tell our legislators that we need to strengthen, not repeal, the progress made in reforming our health care system.
Editor's note: Samuelson is a facilitator of the Health Care Reform Forum of Progressive Action for the Common Good