After wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the issue of the increasingly faltering economy, healthcare tops the polls of issues of major concern to the electorate. Reflecting that, the Biden plan was four pages long and the Clinton plan a hefty 16. The Dodd plan on healthcare is a little shorter – about four bullets, and like the other candidates, is highly focused on insurance reform rather than encompassing healthcare reform.
I am evaluating at the plans and candidate positioning regarding five domains:
- Importation of Drugs – There is nothing specific in his plan about the importation of drugs. However, in a position statement on his official Senate web site, there is the statement that Senator Dodd "supports competition from abroad, as well, by allowing lower priced medicines to be imported where adequate drug safety protections are in place."
- Medicare Part D Reform – Again, there is no specific language in his proposal that indicates a position on Part D reform, however, from his Senate site, there is the following statement – "Senator Dodd has worked to make prescription medicines more affordable for seniors, the poor, and working families. He supports expanding health care coverage to include coverage of prescription drugs for seniors and poor children." One might infer from this statement that he would be sympathetic to the concept to allow the government to negotiate prices under Medicare Part D, but that is speculative.
- Pharmaceutical Marketing Restrictions – Nothing found.
- Follow-on-Biologic Regulation – Nothing found.
- Generic Promotion – Again with no specificity in his plan, he has made statements that favor competition.
Analysis: There is extremely thin gruel here to allow any analysis. Senator Dodd did not vote for the Medicare Part D program – again from his Senate Web site – "While Senator Dodd was unable to support the Medicare Prescription Drug and Modernization Act in its final form due to his belief that the legislation does not provide comprehensive enough coverage for needed medicines…" He has issued no statement from his office since July, 2007 regarding Medicare. The combined effect is underwhelming.