On health-care prices, Obama goes where Obamacare doesn't

Ever since Obamacare took effect, Republicans have warned of mission creep: that a law bringing more government regulation to health care would eventually morph into single-payer. Supporters of all-payer systems argue that the trade-off can ultimately be worth it. For one, they’re not convinced that the extra spending actually supports innovation when they look at pharmaceutical companies’ profit margins, which tend to be in the double-digits. Second, they argue that Americans shouldn’t get stuck with pharmaceutical companies’ research and development bills exclusively, when their products go on to sell across the globe. “How do we maintain insurance financing if everyone takes this pricing approach?,” says John Rother, who leads the Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing. “We end up sinking the ship. We want innovation, but to continue loading these high drug benefits onto premiums isn’t going to work.”

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