The Bill Richardson healthcare plan is not as hefty as some of his Democratic colleagues, not nonetheless, covers a good bit of ground. His plan is not one that puts into place a universal healthcare approach with a new government agency, but rather he primarily seeks to close the gap between the insured and uninsured by using existing mechanisms, expanding them so that coverage is more readily available. As with many of the shorter plans, it is more a statement of goals that he would like to achieve rather than a solid planning document.
Respecting our five domains:
- Importation of Drugs – According to the WebMD site, he favors the importation of drugs from certain countries.
- Medicare Part D Reform - Governor Richardson has made it a part of his plan to control costs to allow the federal government to negotiate prices under Medicare Part D – a savings estimated at $34 billion per year.
- Pharmaceutical Marketing Restrictions- Nothing was found to indicate any leaning one way or another on this.
- Follow-on-Biologic Regulation – While there are no specifics with regard to FOBs, he has stated that he is not in favor of granting the FDA any new authorities and a regulatory pathway for FOBs would be considered new… One might assume that he believes the FDA already has the authority it needs to approve FOBs.
- Generic Promotion – His plan states that he will promote the use of generics, saving $5 billion per year, but does not give any indication as to what that effort might look like.
Analysis: His claim to distinction respecting his plan is that it covers all Americans without creating a new bureaucracy and without imposing new taxes. While that may be the case, his posture towards industry as expressed in these five domains is not entirely clear.