Monday, December 09, 2019

Do You Think That Trump Is The Only One Motivated By Corruption In The Battle Over Drug Prices? Wake Up


Medicare-for-All Will Never Pass And Drug Prices Will Remain High Until Pelosi And Wendell Primus Are Gone From Congress

The public-- Republicans, Democrats, Independents, non-voters-- everyone wants cheaper drug prices, but the prices continue to rise. The public wants Congress to do something about it. But nothing-- a whole lot of nothing-- is getting done. PhRMA charges what the market lets them get away with. As Sam Baker pointed out in Politico over the weekend, "the most expensive drug in the world-- a gene replacement therapy that treats spinal muscular atrophy-- came to market earlier this year, with a sticker price of $2.1 million in the U.S. That drug is a groundbreaking new therapy, but prices also continue to rise for old, familiar products that people depend on every day-- most notably, insulin

This week, the House is going to vote on a very modest and unsatisfactory bill that Pelosi has been pushing and that progressives are embarrassed over. Trump prefers Chuck Grassley's Senate bill, which McConnell isn't thrilled with and which the right won't vote for. To pass it, it would take a lot of arm-twisting of conservative Republicans that Trump will never do, plus all the right-of-center and moderate Democrats. And then it would have pass the House. Big PhRMA opposes all the bills-- especially the effective one, H.R.1046 that Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) introduced and is backed by 127 Democratic co-sponsors. Doggett's bill is the only one that would crack down on PhRMA and it is being backed by Democrats from progressives like AOC (NY), Barbara Lee (CA), Ro Khanna (CA), Pramila Jayapal (WA), Raul Grijalva (AZ), Ayanna Pressley (MA), Jerry Nadler (NY), Ilhan Omar (MN), Katie Porter (CA), Jamie Raskin (MN), Ted Lieu (CA), Rashid Tlaib (MI), Andy Levin (MI), and Jan Scxhakowsky (IL) to even some of the most cowardly conservatives like Charlie Crist (Blue Dog-FL), Elissa Slotkin (New Dem-MI), Max Rose (Blue Dog-NY), Dan Lipinski (Blue Dog-IL), Abigail Spanberger (Blue Dog-VA), Gil Cisneros (New Dem-CA), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (New Dem-FL), Stephen Lynch (New Dem-MA) and Elaine Luria (New Dem-VA).

Back to Politico: "The big picture: The pharmaceutical industry almost always gets its way in Washington. The industry's top two trade organizations, together, spent more than $35 million on lobbying in 2018, more than they've ever spent before. That doesn't include individual companies' contributions, nor does it include any of the industry's campaign contributions, which are substantial."

Cenk Uygur, the progressive reform candidate running for the open congressional seat in a district in the suburbs north of Los Angeles (CA-25) told us this morning that "Drug companies don't give politicians money for charity, they do it to buy them. And unfortunately it works. Everyone knows these are bribes. The only people who won't acknowledge it are corporate politicians on both sides and the corporate media. This is a sick system that lets people die for profit. Any politician that takes money from the drug companies is selling out their voters on behalf of their donors."

This is a list of current House members who have taken the most in bribes from the health sector (which includes Big PhRMA) since 1990. All of them have been in top leadership and committee positions to prevent any movement on meaningful reform. All of them belong in prison:
Frank Pallone (D-NJ)- $6,610,354
Steny Hoyer (D-MD)- $4,970,630
Michael Burgess (R-TX)- $4,466,629
Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)- $4,403,284
Fred Upton (R-MI)- $4,276,714
Kevin Brady (R-TX)- $3,611,054
Greg Walden (R-OR)- $3,468,191
Anna Eshoo (D-CA)- $3,207,836
John Shimkus (R-IL)- $3,026,262
Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)- $2,944,209
Ron Kind (D-WI)- $2,869,860
Richard Neal (D-MA)- $2,869,426
On Friday, Adam Cancryn and Sarah Karlin-Smith, writing for PoliticoPro, reported that House progressive leaders were testing support for an effort to block Pelosi’s bill, "amid rising frustration over the crafting of the Democrats’ signature legislation.

The Congressional Progressive Caucus circulated a questionnaire asking its members if they would be willing to oppose a procedural vote on the bill-- effectively stalling the top Democratic priority-- unless Pelosi agrees to make a series of changes moving it further left, or allow votes on progressive amendments." Pelosi, who has a bizarre relationship with Big PhRMA and with their lobbyists and "ex"-lobbyists, hit the ceiling.
Few progressives have publicly suggested opposing the drug pricing legislation up until now, even as they complained of being locked out of negotiations over its specifics. The Progressive Caucus has struggled in the past to marshal its diverse membership against major Democratic priorities, and Pelosi’s drug pricing bill is seen as key to keeping Democratic control of the House in 2020.

But progressives' anger with top Democrats reached a new pitch Friday, after Politico reported that leadership weakened a key provision authored by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and approved by the Education and Labor Committee in October.

Goal Thermometer“I don’t know why I’m having to fight so hard for an amendment that already passed through committee,” Jayapal said.

The bill originally directed the federal government to study how it could require drugmakers to refund money to employer-sponsored health plans when the companies raised prices above the inflation rate-- and then issue regulations based on those conclusions.

Yet in a private meeting with advocacy groups on Thursday, top aides led by Pelosi health adviser Wendell Primus said they were cutting the regulations mandate, effectively reducing it to a simple call for a study, people who were in the room said.
You may have noticed that Blue America is in the middle of a fundraiser for Pramila's campaign. It's because of this kind of thing that we're trying to help her. Who else is going to stand up to Primus who is exactly as anti-healthcare as any garden variety Republican. There is no presence more detrimental to healthcare policy in Congress than Wendell Primus. You can help-- and maybe win a Nirvana gold record award-- by clicking on the Blue America Nirvana thermometer above.

Cancryn and Karlin-Smith continued that "Progressives have unsuccessfully pressed leadership for months to make changes in the bill that would fully eliminate the ban on Medicare’s ability to directly negotiate drug prices, increase the number of drugs the government can target for direct negotiation and make negotiated prices available to the uninsured." Big PhRMA's man inside Pelosi's office warned that Pramila and other progressives are "gravely misreading the situation if they try to stand in the way of the overwhelming hunger" for Pelosi's bill that most people view as slightly better than nothing.
The last-minute changes have left liberals irate over what they characterized as a leadership attempt to steamroll the left wing on a top priority.

Leaders had vowed to allow rank-and-file members to help shape the bill for months, they said, only to speed the legislation to the floor in the final weeks of the year. Now, they said, they were quietly watering down language that progressives touted as the element that justified supporting a bill they otherwise saw as far too timid.

“For many of my residents at home, constantly there’s this lack of a sense of urgency they feel is coming out of this chamber,” said Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI). “If we’re not going to take this head-on right away, it’s not going to make a difference.”

In an interview, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) characterized the drug pricing bill as the latest in a string of issues where Democratic leaders ignored progressive lawmakers.
Meanwhile, Doggett, the congressman from Texas who actually wrote the good drug pricing legislation said "I've tried to be positive throughout this and talk about improving the bill, rather than opposing the bill, but it would be really difficult to vote for it if no improvements are made... We are setting the standard, we are setting the model for what a Democratic president would do on prescription drugs."

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At 6:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Drug companies don't give politicians money for charity, they do it to buy them. And unfortunately it works. Everyone knows these are bribes. The only people who won't acknowledge it are corporate politicians on both sides and the corporate media. This is a sick system that lets people die for profit."

Actually, the people who are most in denial are voters who still think the democraps are going to save them... since 1980... and have not nor ever will.

"Medicare-for-All Will Never Pass And Drug Prices Will Remain High Until Pelosi And Wendell Primus Are Gone From Congress"

not only remain high, but keep going even higher... like a Saturn V rocket. And not only Pelosi and primus. look at the democraps listed in the top-10. Sadly, space (?) limitations prevented DWT from listing the top 250 democraps on that list. Of course, that might have tended to prove to DWT readers that it isn't the individuals... it's the party... and discourage BA donations.

At 6:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Check Howie's Twitter feed! He just admitted that you're right about everything and he's leaving Act Blue and giving up on his mission to reform the Democratic Party! YOU WON!

Not really. In fact, I think he remains pretty much unaware you even exist. Keep plugging away though. We both know you have NOTHING to live for other than your weird obsession with this blog. Keep up the "good" work, ya friggin' loon. I do get bored at work and your repetitive obsessive craziness is the only thing online FUNNIER than the folks I run into over at Melania Trump's FaceBook page.

And I didn't even tell you to kill yourself this time! Kudos to me!

At 7:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Howie writes a blog post documenting that corporate Democrats are determined to pass a prescription drug bill to ensure that virtually nothing changes with drug pricing, to take the issue off the table (for themselves and Trump) and declare they've done something. And Democraps still won't STFU.

At 7:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neither will GooFY. I hope he didn't break his arm patting himself on the back!

Wages have at best been stagnant since 1980, hours worked decrease, benefit costs are up, drug prices are outrageous, and the Democrats struggle mightily to be Republicans. Yet they still believe they are entitled to our votes only because the Nazipublicans are so much worse.

Of course, having mindless lackeys like GooFY allow them to justify their delusions.

At 7:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@7:39, you're mentally ill.

At 10:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not the one pretending to be superior and chastising everyone else commenting here because no one else is such a Party boot licker like you, GooFY. That alone would qualify you if the DSM remains valid.

At 11:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Howie & Co. have never actually acknowledged you and your fellow revolutionaries, right? Yet you toil away on your crazy little mission with the utmost seriousness. Sure, those who criticize you must be insane. I'll modify my standard tack with you and advance this idea - you are completely friendless and posting here is the only contact you have with the outside world. How do I know this? Normal people who communicate regularly with other normal people don't write the way you do. You clearly lack proper socialization skills. You can "I am rubber..." all you want but it won't change the fact that you're a lonely shut-in so far removed from reality that you really think posting anonymous comments on a blog is a worthwhile and important "task".

You're a sad demented imbecile, but don't mistake that added modifier for sympathy. I generally think you're quite funny (the ponderous solemnity coupled with the sour know-it-all/seen-it-all tone of your posts, etc.). I suppose if I were a better person I'd reflect on just what it is that makes you so pathetic and maybe find something better to with my time. Oh well. Lucky for you I'm not a better person. Lucky for you at least one person on the planet knows you're alive and acknowledges you. It sucks that that person is me and I find you unintentionally hilarious, but beggars can't be choosers. And we both know that as far as your somewhat dysfunctional thought processes are concerned, my every comment justifies your existence. I'm surprised you haven't added us "haters" to your big mission statement explaining what you're doing here. I can't wait 'til that gets posted. Last time you put up a little manifesto I laughed hysterically for a couple of minutes, at least.


At 1:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And GFY/suicide yourself guy keeps proving why it's important to stress the fallacy that DWT keeps promoting. He keeps proving that all we are pointing out about the ongoing American populace's trend toward stupidity and evil. Like trump, the dumbest and most evil americans are also the ones having the most certainty, the most closed minds and the quickest limbic reflex.

All I need to do on all these sheepdog postings is enter one little poke and GFY guy absolutely must prove me correct. It's physics.

every time.

At 2:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You aren't worth any extra effort, Special Party Minion. You either agree what I'm saying, or you can refuse to do so. It's entirely up to you.

And I'll leave the hating to you. You have more than enough without me adding to the conflagration you want to cause.

At 6:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@2:20 & 1:25

You're so poorly socialized it defies belief that you could actually be in your 60-70s. You've NEVER had a genuine intimate relationship in your entire life, have you?

What you're doing on this obscure blog is not important, but keep kidding yourself that this obsessive craziness* has value. It's probably the only thing that keeps you from swallowing a bottle of rat poison.

Special Party Minion? You have no idea what a demented lunatic you look like to any normal person out in the real world. Someone I work with who read some of your stuff (I think the post I pointed her to was one of your batshit crazy mission statements) suggested to me that you're doing some weird performance art thing online and could not possibly be serious (you might remember my saying that to you a while back - time to come clean, that one wasn't mine) - I assured her that, no, you are DEADLY SERIOUS.

*I notice you haven't posted anything much in the last 24 hours. Guess my comments elsewhere about you having nothing doing outside posting here must have stung, so you're hanging back for a bit to prove that you do indeed have a life? Don't worry - I got a shitload of work to do and won't be around to needle you for the next couple of days. I know NOT commenting must be driving you absolutely fucking crazy (ok, CRAZIER). Gotta keep at the all-important "mission", right? Sweet Jesus dipped in chocolate syrup. You are something else.


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