Passage Two Questions 26 to 30 are based on the following passage. You’re in trouble if you have to buy your own brand-name prescription drugs. Over the past decade, prices leaped by more than double the inflation rate. Treatments for chronic conditions can easily top $2,000 a month — no wonder that one in four Americans can’t afford to fill their prescriptions. The solution? A hearty chorus of “O Canada.” North of the border, where price controls reign, those same brand-name drugs cost 50% to 80% less. The Canadian option is fast becoming a political wake-up call. “If our neighbors can buy drugs at reasonable prices, why can’t we?” Even to whisperuyy that thought provokes anger. “Un-American!” And — the propagandists’ trump card（王牌）— “Wreck our brilliant health-care system.” Supersize drug prices, they claim, fund the research that sparks the next generation of wonder drugs. No sky-high drug price today, no cure for cancer tomorrow. So shut up and pay up. Common sense tells you that’s a false alternative. The reward for finding, say, a cancer cure is so huge that no one’s going to hang it up. Nevertheless, if Canada-level pricing came to the United States, the industry’s profit margins would drop and the pace of new-drug development would slow. Here lies the American dilemma. Who is all this splendid medicine for? Should our healthcare system continue its drive toward the best of the best, even though rising numbers of patients can’t afford it? Or should we direct our wealth toward letting everyone in on today’s level of care? Measured by saved lives, the latter is the better course. To defend their profits, the drug companies have warned Canadian wholesalers and pharmacies（药房）not to sell to Americans by mail, and are cutting back supplies to those who dare. Meanwhile, the administration is playing the fear card. Officials from the Food and Drug Administration will argue that Canadian drugs might be fake, mishandled, or even a potential threat to life. Do bad drugs fly around the Internet? Sure — and the more we look, the more we’ll find. But I haven’t heard of any raging hundreds of thousands of people buying cross-border. Most users of prescription drugs don’t worry about costs a lot. They’re sheltered by employee insurance, owing just a $ 20 co-pay. The financial blows rain, instead, on the uninsured, especially the chronically ill who need expensive drugs to live. This group will still include middle-income seniors on Medicare, who’ll have to dig deeply into their pockets before getting much from the new drug benefit that starts in 2006.
26. What is said about the consequence of the rocketing drug prices in the U.S.? A ) A quarter of Americans can’t afford their prescription drugs. B ) Many Americans can’t afford to see a doctor when they fall ill. C ) Many Americans have to go to Canada to get medical treatment. D ) The inflation rate has been more than doubled over the years.
27. It can be inferred that America can follow the Canadian model and curb its soaring drug prices by _______. A ) encouraging people to buy prescription drugs online B ) extending medical insurance to all its citizens C ) importing low-price prescription drugs from Canada D ) exercising price control on brand-name drugs
28. How do propagandists argue for the U.S. drug pricing policy? A ) Low prices will affect the quality of medicines in America. B ) High prices are essential to funding research on new drugs. C ) Low prices will bring about the anger of drug manufacturers D ) High-price drugs are indispensable in curing chronic diseases.
29. What should be the priority of America’s health-care system according to the author? A ) To resolve the dilemma in the health-care system. B ) To maintain America’s lead in the drug industry. C ) To allow the vast majority to enjoy its benefits. D ) To quicken the pace of new drug development.
30. What are American drug companies doing to protect their high profits? A ) Labeling drugs bought from Canada as being research. B ) Threatening to cut back funding for new drug research. C ) Reducing supplies to uncooperative Canadian pharmacies. D ) Attributing the raging epidemics to the ineffectiveness of Canadian drugs.