WAL-MART...GOOD? Some...

WAL-MART...GOOD? Some of my right-wing readers may think this'll make my head explode, but Wal-Mart's embarking on a new initiative to use its size and weight to bargain down the prices on generic prescription medications. In other words, the company I always accuse of acting like a monopsony is now going to use their might to act as consumer advocates on health care -- which will be good for consumers and bad for Pharma. Hooray!

It's worth saying, though, that this is exactly what I and most Democrats are always calling for the government to do, and it's precisely this apparently unfair tactic that the Republican Party barred Medicare from using in the 2003 Modernization Act. It's rather weird that Congress felt the need to outlaw Medicare from bargaining down pharmaceutical prices, but thinks Wal-Mart should run wild.

--Ezra Klein

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