Sunday, October 24, 2004

Steyn's Points

I was considering making a point about "Canadian" prescription drugs, and the peris of price controls.

But I find Mark Steyn has already done so quite elegantly:
Speaking of [government health care], if there's four words I never want to hear again, it's "prescription drugs from Canada." I'm Canadian, so I know a thing or two about prescription drugs from Canada. Specifically speaking, I know they're American; the only thing Canadian about them is the label in French and English. How can politicians from both parties think that Americans can get cheaper drugs simply by outsourcing (as John Kerry would say) their distribution through a Canadian mailing address? U.S. pharmaceutical companies put up with Ottawa's price controls because it's a peripheral market. But, if you attempt to extend the price controls from the peripheral market of 30 million people to the primary market of 300 million people, all that's going to happen is that after approximately a week and a half there aren't going to be any drugs in Canada, cheap or otherwise -- just as the Clinton administration's intervention into the flu-shot market resulted in American companies getting out of the vaccine business entirely.
I also wanted to point out Kerry's contradictions during the debates on the use of allies, but Steyn covers that as well:
On the one hand, the Tora borer drones that Bush "outsourced" the search for Osama bin Laden to the Afghans, though at the time he supported it ("It is the best way to protect our troops," he said in December 2001. "I think we have been doing this pretty effectively."). But, on the other, he claims he's going to outsource Iraq to the French and the Germans, though neither of them wants anything to do with it.
In other words, Kerry is simply not a serious candidate with serious ideas.

Steyn concludes:
After much stonewalling, the Province of Quebec's Health Department announced this week that in the last year some 600 Quebecers had died from C. difficile, a bacterium acquired in hospital...One thousand Americans are killed in 18 months in Iraq, and it's a quagmire. One thousand Quebecers are killed by insufficient hand-washing in their filthy, decrepit health care system, and kindly progressive Americans can't wait to bring it south of the border. If one has to die for a cause, bringing liberty to the Middle East is a nobler venture and a better bet than government health care.
And don't forget the 15,000 elderly who died horribly of dehydration in the summer heatwave in France while their caretakers went off to vacation...and Iraq is the quagmire? And Reuters and AP trumpet a new "grim milestone" in Iraq combat deaths every time the number ends in a zero when it's still less than 1/10th the carnage (and about 1/60th the rate!) in French hospitals?

Read the whole thing.


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