Senators Dorgan [my homestate] and Snowe [R-Maine] have joined to announce their take-on of the high costs of prescription drugs.

U.S. Senators Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) said today that with a new president who supports the legislation, they expect the new Congress to pass their bipartisan bill that will allow American consumers to safely import lower-priced, Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs from other countries. Dorgan and Snowe said their legislation will bring consumers immediate relief and will ultimately force the pharmaceutical industry to lower drug prices in the United States.

Experts estimate the bill would save American consumers $50 billion over the next decade, including more than $10.6 billion in federal government savings.

Now we have some firsthand experiences of those high pharmaceutical prices in the Sunshine household, so news that Senators have their eye on the pill and the FDA-approved potion is positive.

We're seeing an energized Congress these days, as though the torpor of the Bush years has already been shaken off. You don't need me to tell you how the high costs of every facet of healthcare are contributing to the dire straits of every American family's economy.

Anybody can be one illness away from bankruptcy, loss of jobs with accompanying loss of healthcare benefit, reductions in healthcare benefits just when you may need them most, the stress of trying to help an elder figure out the arcane, Rube Goldbergian choices of insurance coverages.

For too long the scales have been tipped for Big Pharma, Big Insurance, Big Healthcare industry.

No segment of this market can be overlooked or pushed aside in the reform and restoration to people and, yes, common sense in healthcare. When it became a big-ticket industry, Wall Street may have been in the pink, but the rest of the country has been slipping further and further into the red.

Learning that Congress is taking seriously its responsibility to cure the cancer of the existing healthcare system instead of just band-aiding the symptoms in ways that actually cripple the consumer, now that's a good prognosis.

A good prognosis for healthcare, for the economy, and for every individual consumer-patient.


crossposted at firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette