Grind for September 22nd
“A judge is a law student who marks his own examination papers.” – HL Mencken
House Speaker unveils plan to lower the cost of prescription drugs
If there’s one thing everyone can agree on, it’s the fact that Americans pay too much for prescription drugs.
A plan unveiled Thursday by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) seeks to lower the cost of prescription drugs by creating an international index that would move US prices closer to those in comparable economies.
“It is unacceptable that Americans pay vastly more than people in other countries for the exact same drugs, often made in the exact same place,” said President Trump, whose plan to get drug prices into TV commercials was defeated in court. “This is wrong, this is unfair, and together we will stop it. We will stop it fast.”
Pelosi’s plan empowers HHS Secretary Alex Azar to negotiate annual prices for 250 of the priciest drugs and includes a $2,000 out-of-pocket cap on prescriptions for Medicare beneficiaries and the disabled.
Manufacturers who refuse to comply with the pricing index would be hit with fines starting at 65% of the gross sale of the drug.
“This is an introduction,” said Pelosi on Thursday. “So much more will be added in the committee process and the public review of it. But we’re very excited about it and happy that we can give some hope to people that help is on the way.”
House lawmakers will begin to discuss the proposal next week, with the goal of passing it through the chamber by the end of the year.
UAE and Saudi Arabia join US-led maritime coalition to protect ships near Strait of Hormuz
The UAE on Thursday agreed to help the United States protect ships traveling through the Strait of Hormuz following months of Iranian aggression and attacks on oil tankers.
Saudi Arabia signed on one day earlier following missile attacks on two oil facilities (the attacks have been blamed on Iran).
Other members of the coalition include: Australia, Britain, and Bahrain.
The Strait of Hormuz is a strategic choke point that connects the Persian Gulf to the open ocean. The waterway, located north of the UAE and South of Iran, has a length of 104 miles and a width that varies between 59 and 24 miles.
Roughly one-third of the world’s liquefied natural gas and nearly one-fourth of total oil consumption passes through the Strait of Hormuz.
GOOD TO THE LAST DROP:
Did you know… There’s a bar in Ireland (presently named Sean’s Bar) that was opened in 900AD.