Monday, November 17, 2008
I don't drink beer anymore. I used to drink socially, a couple of beers a year at Super Bowl parties and the like, but now alcohol conflicts with medicines I take.
I used to like Budweiser or Michelob. Now, all that's changed.
I saw a Bud ad on the TV yesterday. They showed those beautiful horses and said something like, "Some things never change."
Well, they were wrong. With the sale of Budweiser to a foreign company, things will change. And finally, the beer itself will change. It always happens that way.
A large conglomerate bought The Kansas City Star and that newspaper has changed. They laid off or retired people we had all come to know, and they didn't even give them the opportunity to write farewell columns or draw farewell cartoons. Of course, with their cartoonist, they probably couldn't have printed his farewell cartoon, but I might have seen it on the Internet, and I would have enjoyed it.
All this made me think of the Medicare drug benefit. When that bill was written (by the drug companies, at least that's what I always thought), I told my wife, "Within a year drug prices will go up, and within two years or so the cost of the drug coverage will go up too. The whole thing is to the benefit of the drug companies."
And that's just what happened. I read in the paper the other day that the cost of the drug coverage is going up an average of at least twenty-five percent. The price of some of the drugs themselves (the ones which were high priced to begin with) shot up a year or so after the bill was passed. We all know drug companies can manipulate the figures to make it seem that isn't happening, but you know, and I do too, that the cost is rising.
Probably forty years or so ago, my father was the chairman of the state drug committee in our state. He was a medical doctor who worked for a state institution. Those folks got lower prices on drugs because they bid them in bulk for all the state institutions together. Medicare could do the same thing, but the drug-lobby-controlled legislation makes that impossible.
The Veterans' Administration gets drugs cheaper than people who get their drugs through the Medicare plan, and it goes without saying that not only has the cost of the insurance risen, but you still pay the so-called donut hole. And the government still pitches in. So much for drug company executives being against welfare.
Don't let anybody tell you things won't change. People in some other country will be making decisions about Budweiser beer. It may be a year or two, but it will all change--the formula, the employees, maybe even where the beer is made.
Change is probably inevitable. I was raised on the grounds of a state mental hospital that no longer exists. But when they take something over, don't ever let anybody tell you that the something they took over won't change. Budweiser is in the midst of change, and so are a whole lot of other things we used to know and love.
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