Saturday, February 04, 2017

Would You Buy Drugs From Trump Or #PresidentBannon?


Are most Trump voters mentally incapacitated by drug addiction?

A few days ago, PPP asked a cross-section of Americans, whose credibility they trust most, various media outlets or Señor Trumpanzee. Every media outlet was rated as significantly more trustworthy than Señor and the Washington Post the most so. 52% of respondents said the Post has more credibility than Trumpanzee and 41%-- presumably the low-IQ, prescription-drug abusing neanderthals who voted for him-- said Trumpanzee has more credibility. It's hard to imagine that anyone could be so unaware of the world around them to believe a word that comes out of Trump's mouth-- or the mouth's of any of his spokespersons. But then I remembered a study showing the counties with the worst prescription drug abuse problems in America-- counties where people are overdosing and dying from opioids like oxycodone, hydromorphone, codeine and fentanyl. You can see 'em on the map up top. Tragically, these counties have something else in common besides severe drug abuse; this is the Trumpist heartland. These are the counties that elected Trump president of the rest of us. (There is one outlier, Rio Arriba County in northern New Mexico, which voted for Clinton-- one out of 30.) This is the list of the 30 counties with the worst prescription drug problems and as you can see, 29 of them voted overwhelmingly for Trump-- not 60-40... they're almost all in the 75% range. The county with the worst drug problem in America, Wyoming Co., West Virginia gave Trump 83.6% of its votes. Some Kentucky counties were even worse-- Leslie Co., for example, gave Trump 89.4% of its votes. These are the desperate and delusional people who listen to the rapacious monkey and believe every crazy, self-serving word that comes out of his filthy, unspeakably profane mouth.
1- Wyoming, WV- 83.6%
2- McDowell, WV- 74.7%
3- Boone, WV- 74.9%
4- Mingo, WV- 83.2%
5- Bell, KY- 79.9%
6- Dickenson, VA- 77.0%
7- Logan, WV- 80.1%
8- Floyd, KY- 72.5%
9- Carbon, UT- 66.3%
10- Mercer, WV- 75.8%
11- Powell, KY- 70.9%
12- Rio Arriba, NM- 24.2%
13- Russell, VA- 78.0%
14- Raleigh, WV- 74.5%
15- Cherokee, NC- 77.3%
16- Summers, WV- 71.1%
17- Johnson, KY- 84.0%
18- Tazewell, VA- 82.0%
19- Leslie, KY- 89.4%
20- Buchanan, VA- 79.1%
21- Martin, KY- 88.6%
22- Jackson, TN- 72.6%
23- Russell, KY- 84.0%
24- Wise, VA- 79.9%
25- Clay, KY- 86.6%
26- Clay, TN- 73.3%
27- Lincoln, WV- 75.2%
28- Webster, WV- 77.3%
29- Harlan, KY- 84.9%
30- Clinton, KY- 85.4%
Yesterday's NY Times highlighted the tragedy of the opioid epidemic in another Trump state: Ohio.
The bodies just keep arriving. On Thursday, only two days into February, the coroner’s office in Dayton, Ohio, had already handled 25 deaths-- 18 caused by drug overdoses. In January, the office processed 145 cases in which the victims’ bodies had been destroyed by opioids.

Now, the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office is so crammed with corpses that it has asked a local funeral parlor to take in four bodies for “temporary storage,” the first time it has had to make such a request, Kenneth M. Betz, director of the coroner’s office, said on Thursday.

...In Ohio, fatal overdoses more than quadrupled in the past decade and by 2007 had surpassed car accidents as the leading cause of accidental death, according to the Department of Health. In 2015, 3,310 deaths were recorded in the state from unintentional drug overdoses, a 21.5 percent increase from the previous year, according to the C.D.C.

Addiction is so entrenched and widespread that police officials say there are now third and fourth generations of prescription drug abusers.
And yes, Trump won Montgomery County (Dayton) too.

I wish PPP would have tested Trump's credibility against progressive spokespersons like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie. This week, though, folks who can, may read an important OpEd by Bernie in the Washington Post. I sure hope more than 52% think that what Bernie had to say about the pharmaceutical industry is more credible than how Trump is treating that industry.

"President Trump and other Republicans," he wrote, "have talked about the greed of the pharmaceutical industry. Recently, Trump said (rightly) that Big Pharma is 'getting away with murder.' But talk is cheap. The question is: Will Republicans really have the guts to join me and many of my colleagues in standing up to the drug companies to fight for American consumers and end the disgrace of having our country pay by far the highest prescription drug prices in the world? If Trump believes what he has said about the industry, he will rally his party to help save American lives. Here’s why."
The five largest drug manufacturers made more than $50 billion in profits in 2015. Meanwhile, nearly 1 out of 5 Americans could not afford the medicine they were prescribed. The result: Millions of Americans became sicker, and some ended up in emergency rooms at great cost. Others unnecessarily lost their lives.

It is beyond comprehension that while Americans are suffering and dying because they cannot afford the medications they need, the 10 highest-paid chief executives in the pharmaceutical industry collectively made $327 million in 2015. These executives get richer while Americans die. That’s not acceptable.

The root of this problem is that we are the only major country not to negotiate drug prices with the pharmaceutical industry. You can walk into a pharmacy today and the price could be double or even triple what you paid for the same medicine a year ago, and there are no legal barriers in place to stop these arbitrary increases. Pharmaceutical corporations can raise prices as high as the market allows. If people die, it is not their concern. If people get sicker, it is not a problem for them.

Yet, 50 miles from my home in Vermont, the same medications manufactured by the same companies in the same factories are available for a fraction of the price. A 90-day supply of Januvia, which treats diabetes, is $505 in the United States but $204 across the northern border. A 90-day supply of Advair, used in asthma inhalers, costs about $222 in Canada and approximately $464 in the United States. A year’s supply of one of the most important treatments for advanced prostate cancer, Xtandi, is sold for about $30,000 in Canada. Patients here pay about $130,000.

Outrageously, our government, and therefore U.S. taxpayers, paid for research that led to Xtandi’s discovery.

This state of affairs is unacceptable. Until recently, Trump agreed. Yet after one meeting with pharmaceutical lobbyists, the president started reversing course. Instead of negotiating drug prices down, he talked about cutting taxes for drug companies that already make billions on the backs of American consumers.

Again, this cannot continue. That is why I am introducing legislation to end this insanity, allowing Americans to buy the same drugs they receive now, but from Canada, at far lower prices.

The drug companies, with nearly 1,400 D.C. lobbyists and enormous amounts for campaign contributions, will fight back. Recipients of their contributions in Congress will tell us that allowing the importation of prescription drugs would compromise the safety of Americans. This is absurd: We can eat fish and vegetables from all over the world but somehow cannot import brand-name prescription drugs, manufactured by some of the largest companies in the world, from an advanced country such as Canada? It’s nonsense.

But you don’t have to take it from me: Members of the pharmaceutical industry say the exact same thing. Peter Rost, a former vice president of Pfizer, said in 2004 that it was “outright derogatory to claim that Americans would not be able to handle reimportation of drugs, when the rest of the educated world can do this.”

Furthermore, the United States already imports roughly 80 percent of the key ingredients in its medicines from other countries, including developing countries such as India and China. According to Kaiser Health, 19 million Americans have bought cheaper prescription drugs from other countries. To afford their vital medications, they shop online, sometimes from pharmacies that haven’t been properly regulated. Our bill will in fact improve safety by ensuring that only prescription drugs sold by Food and Drug Administration-certified foreign sellers, such as pharmacies regulated by Canada’s health system, will be permitted to be imported, protecting Americans from the snake oil some are buying right now.

The bill will also deal with the most critical safety issue: Drugs don’t work at all if patients can’t afford them.

Drug companies won’t surrender the billions in profits they receive from U.S. consumers easily. The pharmaceutical industry is one of the most powerful political forces in this country. Drug companies have spent more than $3 billion lobbying since 1998 and have many members of Congress defending their interests; during the 2016 election alone, the industry made more than $58 million in political contributions.

So we will need to fight together to get Americans the medications they need at prices they can afford. If the president meant what he said during the campaign, he will join me in this fight. It can’t wait any longer.

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At 3:11 PM, Anonymous Hone said...

At this point, anyone who has even the most fleeting thought that Trump might stand up to big Pharma should take some opiates himself. Forget it. And the Republicans won't do anything either. What about Howard Dean? Where is he at? The liberal who switched to lobbying for big Pharma. Very disappointing.

Years ago, I bought inhalers from Canada for my son, who has asthma and had no insurance at one point. It is very easy to do. You can look it up on line and then just send over your prescription. Much cheaper!

The large percentage of people who still support Trump, while under the 50th %ile, is scary. How stupid and ignorant can people be? Do people read the paper? Do they want another Wall Street crash, another war, horrible schools, no social security or Medicare or access to health insurance? Air to breathe?

At 4:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a corollation between poverty and drug abuse. It's because poverty is now abject. There is no upward mobility, no jobs, no prospects. If your parents were poor, you will die poor. If your parents weren't educated, you won't be educated. If your parents are stupid, you are likely stupid.

If your parents always voted R, just cuz that's how it's done, they you will vote R just cuz.

They may or may not like drumpf but he was the R, so there ya go.

If your misery is abject, drugs are a cheap escape... maybe the only escape.

Part of guaranteeing perpetual abject misery is indoctrinating voters into supporting the single party and government that has made their misery abject.

Silly FDR, uplifting 10s of millions of depression victims into middle class, giving all them hapless rubes hope and all. Cruel really. Give them hope and now you take it all away...

At 5:39 PM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

Their parents-- at least if they were living in West Virginia-- were among the most loyal Democratic voters in the country. West Virginia-- before Hate Talk Radio mixed with the prescription drug epidemic turned so many of them into Republican zombies-- was one of the most reliably Democratic states in the nation. Their parents voted for JFK, LBJ, Hubert Humphrey, Jimmy Carter (twice!), Dukakis and Bill Clinton (also twice). Then along came Rush Limbaugh and Oxy.

At 7:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

DWT, once Carter made noise about fossil fuels and pollution, WVa being big coal country, flipped. Cuz they just LOVE making shit wages deep underground and dying early from lung disease. Limbaugh and fox, by design, helped convince those (and millions of other) imbeciles.

Not that the Democrats (then) were going to help them. Clinton told them he felt their pain, but didn't do shit for them except to impose some safety rules which were implemented in exchange for stagnation of wages.

The fascist collusion between corporate mining (suppression of wages) and corporate propaganda (fox, Limbaugh et al) telling them that the democrats were to blame for their ills caused the imbeciles to flip giving that state over to the rich white men who are and always have been the source of their misery and early deaths.

Even stupid people don't use drugs at this rate if their lives are warm, happy, satisfying and they get laid occasionally. Stupid and miserable people use drugs cuz they're cheap and easy and give them temporary relief. The liquor industry has always relied upon it.


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