Douchebro Price Gouger And The Law Of Unintended Consequences

Martin Shkreli is the modern day vampire / douchebro who bought the rights to an old medication used to treat babies and AIDS patients and raised the price by a gazillion dollars. And he really doesn’t care what you think of him.

You might think he is useful mainly as a new target for the Internet’s ever-replenishing, fiery wrath, like the professor who harassed a small Chinese take-out place over $4 and the dude who shot Cecil the Lion. But Shkreli has also — unintentionally, of course — done some good.

He sparked a long overdue conversation about why rich, conscience-less individuals should be allowed to profit off of America’s sickest and most vulnerable citizens. He also inspired Hilary Clinton to put forth a potential solution.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton is proposing a $250 monthly cap on the amount patients with chronic and serious medical problems would have to pay out of pocket for prescription drugs as a way to reduce the effect of skyrocketing drug prices on consumers. …

Clinton herself telegraphed the plan with a Twitter message Monday vowing to go after “price-gouging” by drug companies. She cited the nearly 5,000-percent increase in the per-pill cost of a drug to treat parasitic infections.

That price hike was profit-driven, Clinton said Monday at a political rally in Little Rock, Ark. The Democratic front-runner said she would crack down on such price increases because “nobody in America should have to choose between buying the medicine they need and paying rent.”

Especially now that rent has been outpacing inflation for decades and soon millions of folks are going to be stuck paying 50% of their flat wages on their crappy apartments.

Drug prices in America are unsustainably high and even Medicare isn’t allowed to negotiate for cheaper rates. That’s part of the reason our health insurance premiums are so expensive and deductibles are increasingly out of control. Politicians are too afraid to take on the deep-pocketed pharmaceutical industry, or they have been, anyway. Clinton aims to change that.

Clinton’s campaign said her prescription drug plan would be modeled on state plans, such as those in California and Maine, that limit patient out-of-pocket costs. The campaign said Clinton would also seek to end a tax credit for direct-to-consumer drug advertising and allow Americans to import drugs from abroad.

The idea of reimporting drugs as a cost-saving strategy goes back nearly two decades. A dozen years ago, it surfaced as a major dispute as Congress was designing the legislation that added Part D drug coverage to Medicare. At that time, Democrats pushed through the Senate a proposal that would have allowed pharmacists and drug distributors to reimport medicine manufactured in the United States from Canada, where pharmaceuticals usually are sold at lower prices. The idea was resisted by many Republicans, including the George W. Bush administration, and it never became law.

Go get ’em, Hills.

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