Grab Bag Wednesday – It’s the economy

Good morning!

  • Interesting study by the conservative American Enterprise Institute reveals that Medicaid spent more money than it should have on brand-name prescription drugs. Over $300 million was “wasted.” This is a significant sum of money. In my opinion, the conclusions of the study are somewhat misguided. It is true that Medicare and Medicaid need to save money wherever possible. They need to figure out how to do this in a safe and cost-effective manner. On the other hand, I’m not sure that forcing generic drugs on patients is the right way to go. Instead, negotiate for fair and lower prescription drug prices. Use the power of the government, the power of the big purchaser (like Walmart) to push prices lower.
  • NPR has begun a multipart series on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The first installment is well worth a listen. (I talk about Fannie and Freddie, here and here.)
  • Is Greece the Argentina of this decade? The financial troubles of the Greek government continue to plague the European Union.
  • Weak home sales are an ominous sign for the economy.
  • I’m not sure what we were expecting in Libya. It seemed to me that the press was playing up some advances that the rebels made along with the “success” of our airstrikes. It appears that the rebels have taken some losses over the last 24-48 hours. Look for the United States to begin to supply the rebels with better weaponry. (Man, am I getting multiple different flashbacks – Somalia, Afghanistan of the 1980s. This is not good.)
  • Please correct me if I’m wrong but it is my understanding that a recession occurs when there is an overall lack of spending. There’s plentiful supply but nobody’s buying. How do you fix this problem by shrinking the size of government? The Republicans have never answered this question adequately; at least, I don’t think so. They continue to argue that we can cut our way to prosperity. Watch the video:

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Errington C. Thompson, MD

Dr. Thompson is a surgeon, scholar, full-time sports fan and part-time political activist. He is active in a number of community projects and initiatives. Through medicine, he strives to improve the physical health of all he treats.


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