Forbes: The President's Plan To End Medicare Part D As We Know It; The first principle in health care and economics should be: ''First, do no harm.''

Grace-Marie Turner, 06.29.11, 05:00 PM EDT

The first principle in health care and economics should be: ''First, do no harm.''

Part of President Barack Obama's deficit reduction plan is to allow Medicare to "negotiate" prescription drug prices. This sounds sensible, except that government never "negotiates" anything. It sets prices and then tells sellers to take it or leave it.

The president's plan is misguided, would lead to shortages and other market distortions, and would wind up undermining the most successful and cost-effective entitlement program the federal government runs--the Medicare prescription drug benefit, also known as Part D.


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