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Kerry Flip-Flops on Scientific Advancement

A poll is taken that finds most people favor stem-cell research and John Kerry makes statements supporting this position. Claiming to be for expanding scientific horizons and finding new miracle cures for all of mankind. Another poll is taken that find people would like lower drug costs, possibly by re-importation or government imposed price controls. Now Kerry is all for supporting the "American people" and comes out in favor of increased regulations that are distinctly anti-expanding scientific horizons and anti-"finding new miracle cures for all of mankind."

I have never seen a politician more driven by polls and focus groups (not even President Clinton) then Senator Kerry. I wish he could find a consistent principled set of core values so we could get on with discussing the issues of the day and not his desires to be panderer-in-chief.

That said lets look at his flip-flopping on science a little closer.

Senator Kerry has used stem cell research as a political tool. He has continuously lied to the American people in reference to this administrations stance on stem cells.

Jan Ireland writes:

"Democrats are doing with stem cell research, what they often do just before elections – slickly presenting an emotional, poorly understood issue to make election points.

They did a similar thing just before the 2000 presidential election, when the NAACP ran a highly inflammatory ad against George W. Bush, in a puerile attempt to boost votes for the Democrat.

This time they’re playing on societal fears of Alzheimer’s to accomplish the same thing. They’re rashly suggesting that stem cell research could be the cure for all of our scariest ills, and the mainstream media is going along. They only need the lies to last until November."
Even though Senator Kerry's motives and truth on the subject of stem cells is questionable he is proposing increased federal funding and fewer federal restrictions for stem cell research. This position is touted as pro science, pro research and pro new cures.

If John Kerry was consistent he would have this outlook across the scientific realm, but as the polls change so does John Kerry. He has come out in support of government imposed price controls on prescription drugs.
At a "front-porch chat" in Minnesota, Edwards said that Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry's (Mass.) health care plan would lower prescription drug costs by allowing the reimportation of lower-cost, U.S.-made medications and negotiating lower bulk prices through Medicare, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune (Blake, Minneapolis Star Tribune, 8/15).
Negotiating lower bulk prices are akin to saying we would impose price controls. Allowing the reimportation of lower cost, U.S. made medications is the same as agreeing to out-sourcing price control decisions to other countries. First he wants to outsource security decisions, as a young politician he wanted U.N. approval for how U.S. troops are deployed globally. Now he says he has new "global test" for the U.S. security. Finally he requests the world's help in controlling prices on an industry that has produced the greatest improvement in peoples health over the last 30 years.

Polls show that people are for lowering the costs of drugs and thus John Kerry is also for it. Nevermind that this position is anti-science, anti-research, and anti-new cures. This is also one area in which the USA in-sources good paying jobs.

The Boston Herald writes:
"This country - and state - have benefited because many industry leaders have fled Europe and other locales to seek free markets. They've brought plenty of good-paying jobs with them.

The downside, of course, is that the cost of prescription drugs has become a front burner political issue. And there is nothing politicians like better than easy answers to complex problems. "

Jen Melby of the Buckeye Institute outlines some of the flaws.

Some Ohioans are clamoring for government to help control prescription drug prices. They have formed groups like the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs to promote bureaucratic systems of price controls such as those of Canada. The Canadian system, however, tends to push up overall spending on prescription drugs, despite the low prices for some brand name ones.

This occurs primarily because the price-controlled system is unattractive to generic drug makers. Only two companies dominate the generic drug market in Canada. Once the patent on a brand name drugs lifts, few companies enter the market keeping prices high. According to the Wall Street Journal, “on average, brand-name drugs cost about three times more than their generic equivalents."

Generics now account for 46 percent of prescriptions filled in the United States. By substituting cheaper prescription drugs for brand name drugs, where possible, Americans save money over their Canadian counterparts.

According to a 1999 study conducted by University of Pennsylvania health care professor Patricia Danzon, the total cost of generic and patented drugs sold in Canada was three percent more expensive than that of the United States because generic drugs are cheaper in the United States and Americans are buying more of them.
Another study is titled Why Price Controls on Prescription Drugs Would Harm Seniors.
Price controls do not work. In fact, they invariably worsen the very problems they are designed to solve. Nonetheless, politicians from Hammurabi the Great to President Richard Nixon have stubbornly implemented price controls as policy. And many Members of Congress today are sounding the siren song of price controls by supporting legislation that promises to make cut-rate prescription drugs available to Medicare beneficiaries. The tacit assumption is that government price controls would lower drug prices without increasing the cost of prescription drugs for senior citizens and others. That assumption is wrong.

Pharmaceutical research is a very risky business. A number of independent studies have found that between 5,000 and 10,000 compounds are tried on average for every 1 that makes it into a neighborhood pharmacy. And that one may be for a very tiny niche market. The incentive to engage in such intense research and development is the potential for large profits on the few drugs that are successful. If the government limited profits on the successes, then there would be fewer resources devoted to research and development. This would translate into a reduced likelihood that tomorrow's cures will be developed. Last year, U.S. pharmaceutical manufacturers invested $24 billion of their revenues to research new drugs. Jeopardizing such massive expenditures in the search for new medications quite literally would threaten the health of America's seniors.
It seems to me that Senator Kerry is unable to take a principled stand on anything. In one part of his speech/plan he is pro-science, pro-new miracle cures. Later in the same speech/plan he is anti-science and anti-new miracle cures.

Even though he is consistently inconsistent, he will look any audience in the eye and state with a straight face that he has never waivered and is always fighting for the advancement of science in support of the American people.

I guess Senator Kerry has found his core value after all at the alter of P.T. Barnum who is often quoted as saying "there is a sucker born every minute". If that quote is his core value then he has been worshipping at the wrong alter, read here. Don't let Senator Kerry know he is at the wrong alter he just might get more confused.

Update: Wizbang writes on drug re-importation from a different point of view.
The main problem with this: it’s technically illegal. The Food and Drug Administration says that the law forbids importing drugs from abroad. But that hasn’t stopped several mayors and governors from proposing buying drugs for their Medicaid programs from Canada. In fact, Governor Benson has put a link on the state's official web site here where people can order their drugs online.
The Shape of Days also wrote a good piece after asking for input.
If the government wants to impose price controls on prescription drugs — which is just what HR 2427 would do, in effect — just come right out and say so. Let's drop the whole mess of regulation necessary to protect Americans from imported drugs and slap on the caps. At least then we can have an honest debate about the role of the government in setting prices and drop all this jibber-jabber about Canada.
Update: Milchelle Malkin sees Kerry's drug proposal in the same light. Price control by any other name is still price control.
One of Kerry's most extreme proposals, which he repeated in last night's debate, is to have Medicare use committed-use contracting in the purchasing of prescription drugs, as is now done by the Veterans Administration and many private sector health plans. As Kerry put it last night:
Update: JustOneMinute reports on a NYT article, NY Times Debunks Drug Reimports From Canada