Suggested Answers to the Second Short Quiz

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Suggested Answers to the Second Short Quiz

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Suggested Answers to the Second Short Quiz

Question 1

Have Dana Milbank (Washington Post OpEd Columnist 2000-present, syndicated in more than 200 newspapers) and Robert Kuttner (Business Week Columnist 1984-2005) been essential guides to our understanding of American politics since we studied for our 2/14/2008 meeting 9.5 years ago their newly-minted best-sellers “Homo Politicus: The Strange and Scary Tribes That Run Our Government” and “The Squandering of America: How the Failure of Our Politics Undermines Our Prosperity” -- because the thesis of both Messrs. Milbank and Kuttner was that NOTHING is done (or NOT done) in the cesspool known as Washington DC except as the result of campaign contributions which comprise EITHER bribery of the pols OR extortion by the pols?

Answer 1


Question 2

Does the way “the cesspool known as Washington DC” works mean that U.S. Governmental decisions COST only a few cents on the dollar of the value of those decisions -- IF, INDEED, THE COSTS ARE NOT A ROUNDING ERROR THAT ROUNDS DOWN TO ZERO???

Answer 2


Question 3

Does our current author, Elisabeth Rosenthal, state (p. 198) that the Medical Industry “has become the country’s biggest lobbying force” listing 2015 lobbying expenditures as --

(A) Medical Industry - $500 million
(B) Oil & Gas Industry - $130 million
(C) Securities & Investment Firms - $100 million
(D) Defense/Aerospace Industry - $75 million

Answer 3


Question 4

Does anyone think for a moment that the $500 million of lobbying expenses by the Medical Industry was NOT spent by lobbyists for doctors, hospitals, drug companies, medical-device manufacturers, insurance companies, etc.?

Answer 4

What do you think??? Let’s discuss!!!

Question 5

In other words, does anyone think for a moment that even a single dollar of the $500 million was spent on lobbying on behalf of patients/citizens???

Answer 5

What do you think??? Let’s discuss!!!

Question 6

So why is it any surprise that, as our author reports, hospital corporations have gobbled up all of their competitors in vast areas of the country (e.g., Sutter Health has a near monopoly in Northern California and charges 160% of the national average for its services) WITHOUT ANYONE BATTING AN EYELASH AT WHAT WOULD, WHEN YOURS TRULY ATTENDED LAW SCHOOL 50 YEARS AGO, HAVE BEEN A CLEAR-CUT VIOLATION OF THE NATION’S ANTI-TRUST LAWS???

Answer 6

Why indeed!!!

Question 7

And why do hospital corporations qualify for “non profit” tax-exempt status when virtually all of them lavish money on UNNEEDED EQUIPMENT and indeed on NON-MEDICAL ITEMS SUCH AS FINE ART TO ADORN OPULENT PUBLIC AREAS???

Answer 7

Why indeed!!!

Question 8

And even if the expenditures of “non profit” tax-exempt corporations were actually “ordinary and necessary” (the test of deductibility for commercial corporations), why are the corporations considered “non profit” simply because they call their profit “operating surplus”???

Answer 8

Why indeed!!!

Question 9

Who was Jimmy Ling?

Answer 9

Please read on Q&A-10 thru Q&A-13.

Question 10

Did Jimmy Ling assemble the commercial behemoth Ling-Tempco-Vought (“LTV”) during the 1960’s when Wall Street placed astronomical price-earnings ratios on the stock value of conglomerates because of the belief that stand-alone companies would have business cycles that would NOT permit steady growth in “earnings per share” from one quarter to the next -- but that the earnings cycles of the various components of a conglomerate would offset each other and produce a steady growth in quarterly EPS?

Answer 10


Question 11

Was the acquisition strategy of LTV that since its stock commanded such a high price-earnings ratio, it could simply acquire for LTV stock, ordinary companies whose stock had, of course, average price-earnings ratios -- AND PRESTO, the market would suddenly value the earnings of the acquired company at LTV’s astronomical price-earnings ratio rather than its former pedestrian price-earnings ratio?

Answer 11


Question 12

Did Jimmy Ling’s successful run of more than a decade come to a screeching halt when Wall Street discovered that NOT ONLY had Jimmy Ling failed to manage the companies he acquired, BUT THAT HE HAD NOT EVEN KEPT A LIST OF THEM!!!???

Answer 12

Hard to believe that Ling lasted more than a decade, but yes!!!

Question 13

Are the acquisitions by today’s hospital behomoths reminiscent of Jimmy Ling because they can make EXHORBITANT PROFITS by simply gobbling up smaller hospitals and then causing them to charge BEHOMOTH FEES???

Answer 13


Question 14

Do drug companies routinely practice “product hopping” which is described (p. 109) as making a small change in a drug with an about-to-expire patent (for example, changing to “chewable” form), patenting the new small/insignificant-change form, and discontinuing the old form?

Answer 14


Question 15

Would such a small/insignificant change in form such as a “chewable” version be considered a “patentable” idea WHEN YOURS TRULY ATTENDED LAW SCHOOL 50 YEARS AGO???

Answer 15

Of course not!!!

After all, “chewables” have been omnipresent for decades, so why should producing yet another drug in “chewable” form be considered “new, useful AND NON-OBVIOUS” which is the test for patentability under the U.S. Code???

Which just goes to show that “everything is for sale” in the “cesspool known as Washington DC”!!!

Question 16

Do drug companies routinely make “pay for delay” contracts with generic manufacturers (p. 113) WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN CLEAR-CUT VIOLATIONS OF THE NATION’S ANTI-TRUST LAWS WHEN YOURS TRULY ATTENDED LAW SCHOOL 50 YEARS AGO???

Answer 16


Which just goes to show that “everything is for sale” in the “cesspool known as Washington DC”!!!

Question 17

According to our author (p. 120), do drug companies routinely acquire manufacturers of their generic-drug competitors and shut them down IN WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN CLEAR-CUT VIOLATIONS OF THE NATION’S ANTI-TRUST LAWS WHEN YOURS TRULY ATTENDED LAW SCHOOL 50 YEARS AGO???

Answer 17


Which just goes to show that “everything is for sale” in the “cesspool known as Washington DC”!!!

Question 18

Is a major theme of Chapter 5 – Medical Devices (pp. 128-147) which is echoed throughout the remainder of the book that NO FDA TRIALS AND APPROVAL are required [per a notorious “Sec. 510(k)” introduced, per our author (p. 132), by 1976 Amendments to the 1938 Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act] so long as they are “substantially equivalent” to a device already sold in the United States for the same purpose?

Answer 18


Question 19

Does Sec. 510(k) HAVE NO POLICING so that virtually all devices come to market WITHOUT FDA TRIALS OR APPROVAL even though they might be implanted in the human body (e.g., a pacemaker) or even though their impact might be “life-threatening or life-sustaining”!!!???

Answer 19


Which just goes to show that “everything is for sale” in the “cesspool known as Washington DC”!!!




Question 20

Does our author claim that medical-device manufacturers play all of the same anti-competitive games that are played by the pharmaceutical companies?

Answer 20


Question 21

Does our author report (pp. 190-192) that virtually all doctors buy each year The Physician’s Desk Reference (“PDR”) which is their “Bible” which lists doses, side effects, half-lives, chemical structures, and results of clinical trials of all approved medicines?

Answer 21


Question 22

Does our author report that in 2012, Medical Economics (the publisher of the PDR) decided to add for each drug’s listing, a list of similar drugs and the price for each?

Answer 22


Question 23

Did this result in an acquisition of Medical Economics by LDM Group (“a leading pharmaceutical marketing company” per our author) which immediately killed the new plan for listing similar drugs and the price for each -- AND INSTEAD MADE THE PDR A LUCRATIVE REPOSITORY OF DRUG ADVERTISING (the PDR previously having been a catalogue without any advertising)?

Answer 23


If LDM Group were owned by pharmaceutical companies, its existence and behavior would be a CLASSIC VIOLATION OF THE NATION’S ANTI-TRUST LAWS BY THE PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES!!!

However, (obtained by a Google Advanced Search for “pdr ‘ldm group’”) discloses that LDM Group, LLC was founded in 2003 AND ITS OWNERSHIP IS UNKNOWN TO BLOOMBERG!!!

However, discloses that LDM Group, LLC is located at 10845 Olive Boulevard, Ste. 308, St. Louis, MO 63141.

A check of the State of Missouri Secretary of State’s on-line registry of companies registered to do business in Missouri confirms that LDM Group, LLC was formed 9/23/2003 and its charter number is LC0543279, BUT ALSO CONTAINS NO INFORMATION ABOUT OWNERSHIP!!!

The aforementioned Google Advanced Search for “pdr ‘ldm group’” does NOT disclose any items indicating that the U.S. Department of Justice’s Anti-Trust Division has shown any interest in the 2012 acquisition of Medical Economics (the previous publisher of the PDR) by LDM Group, LLC and whether LDM Group is owned by pharmaceutical companies.

Which just goes to show that “everything is for sale” in the “cesspool known as Washington DC”!!!

Question 24

Does our author report (p. 23) that the income of doctors has increased 55% between 1997 and 2012 while the average income of the rest of America was declining?

Answer 24


Question 25

Does our author report (p. 57) that 27.2% of all doctors are in the top 1% of wealthiest Americans?

Answer 25


Question 26

Does she also report that this has nothing to do with the cost of medical education because those costs can be liquidated quickly on a typical doctor’s income?

Answer 26


Question 27

Indeed, does she report that the original purpose of the American Medical Association (AMA) had been to limit the size of the nation’s medical schools in order to maintain high incomes for doctors?

Answer 27


Which just goes to show that “everything is for sale” in the “cesspool known as Washington DC”!!!

Question 28

So is it surprising that, courtesy of the monopoly practices of the AMA as permitted by “the cesspool known as Washington DC,” medicine is such a lucrative profession -- when, as noted in Q&A-8 and Q&A-9 of the First Short Quiz, being a doctor was considered “women’s work” in the Old Soviet Union, as a result of which Soviet doctors were paid LESS THAN grade-school teachers?

Answer 28

So are any of you surprised???

Question 29

So based on the way “the cesspool known as Washington DC” works, is anyone surprised that --

(A) The percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) that America spends on healthcare “is more than twice the average of developed countries” (p. 2 of our focus book)???

(B) The United Nation’s World Health Organization ranks “the health system performance” of the U.S. as 37th in the world even though the world has only 35 developed countries -- WHICH MEANS THAT THERE ARE AT LEAST TWO THIRD-WORLD COUNTRIES WHOSE HEALTH SYSTEM PERFORMANCE IS BETTER THAN THE U.S. (p. 247)???

Answer 29

So are any of you surprised???

Question 30

Isn’t it time for America to oppose “the cesspool known as Washington DC” in order to obtain a single-payer (“Medicare for all”) system in order to call a halt to all these travesties?

Answer 30

What do you think??? Let’s discuss!!!

Question 31

And if wealthy Americans refuse to “love their neighbors as themselves” and permit such a system to be funded by a progressive income tax like many developed countries, then isn’t it time to have a single-payer (Medicare for all) system financed by a regressive gasoline tax like the remaining developed countries of the civilized world?

Answer 31

What do you think??? Let’s discuss!!!

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