As for the second question, this is where I realize that liberals often really just do not grok what libertarians are about. For them, this is a battle between people who like health care companies, and want to defend them, and people who like the government. But I don't care about the pharmaceutical companies qua pharmaceutical companies. The pharmaceutical companies are interested in what is good for pharmaceutical companies. I am interest in what is good for society. - Megan McArdle
Oddly enough, I'm with the liberals on this one, at least as far as Megan characterizes the difference between liberals and libertarians. As Megan writes elsewhere, the business model of Big Pharma is contingent on the idea that somebody has to pay full retail. The way this has worked over time, that somebody turns out to be the US consumer. Other countries with various forms of collectivized medicine bully Big Pharma into selling its intellectual property cheap, and Big Pharma folds every time. That, in turn, puts substantial pressure on the American political establishment toward some kind of collectivized medicine here, and Surprise!, here we are. Those of us who might otherwise be supportive of Big Pharma shouldn't put ourselves in a situation we're defending Big Pharma's interest when it's not willing to defend itself.