The less you can afford, the more you pay

In a report about the desperation which drives so many Americans to seek lower-cost prescription drugs in Canada, Abigail Trafford of The Washington Post makes a crucial point about the current healthcare system. The poor (who tend to have little or no health insurance) pay more:

Health-rich people — those with comprehensive health coverage — get the lower prices. Health-poor people — those who are uninsured or inadequately covered — have to pay the highest prices. It’s as though the rich can go to Filene’s Basement to get designer clothes at knockdown prices, but the poor are forced to buy their clothes at the most expensive designer boutique.

Of course obtaining drugs from Canada is a temporary fix at best, and does nothing to address the underlying problem. But until the Bush administration is prepared to address the problem seriously, it has no business trying to stop those whose only option lies north of the border.