And handy for congressional insider trading

From Robert Whitcomb's "Digital Diary,'' in

Congress, at least in recent sessions, has not particularly cared about poor people with limited access to medical care. As Robert Pear noted in The New York Times, “They cannot agree on subsidies for low-income people under the Affordable Care Act or even how to extend funding for the broadly popular Children’s Health Insurance Program.’’ Many Republicans have often expressed a barely disguised distaste for Medicaid and the low-income people on it, while they’re leery of offending the generally higher-income and high-voting folks on Medicare, a much more expansive program.

Most members of the House and Senate are affluent and have few interactions with poor people who are uninsured and who can’t afford doctor visits or prescription drugs.

But the solons do love expanding funding for medical research, with a plan, for example to boost the funding of the National Institutes of Health by $2 billion in the next fiscal year. Mr.  Pear notes, accurately in my view, that a major reason could be that legislators think that the research could create cures for ailments that they, their families and friends might have. And of course, few legislators are young; ailments increase with age.

“{T}he cynic in me says it’s because of the prevalence of selfishness. We all want to know there’s something out there that will cure us if we need it, but many of us are quite reluctant to pay for somebody else to get cured when they need it,’’ R. Alta Charo, a law and bioethics professor at the University of Wisconsin, told The Times.

I think that there’s another element in Congress’s love of funding  medical research and development: Legislators may see this as a way of getting in early on investments in the drug and medical-device sectors.  Enjoy a bit of insider trading. For guidance on such lucrative activities, consult, for example, former Georgia Congressman and former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, M.D.

To read The Times’s story, please hit this link.