What’s Speaker Pelosi Up To With Crafting Pharma-Friendly Drug Pricing Bill In Secret

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Since the Democratic Party House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has demonstrated a penchant for giving into political expediency versus doing what’s the ethical, moral constitutionally mandated duty of conducting an “impeachment inquiry” in order to hold a lawless president accountable for his felonious acts, as detailed in the FBI’s findings regarding its 22 months long Trump-Russia probe led by the Special Counsel Robert Mueller III, I’ve become a less enthusiastic supporter.

Speaker Pelosi has asserted that the republican President Donald Trump should be required to do prison time for his crimes, instead of being subjected to an “impeachment inquiry. My thinking is, that if she truly gets that President Trump has committed crimes, then she’s obligated to do her duty by directing the House to commence with an “impeachment inquiry.” end of story. This is not a binary choice.

See: What’s Up With Democratic House Speaker Pelosi; The -I-Word Avoidance Excuses Are Falling Flat

See Laurence Tribe’s WAPO op-ed piece: Impeach Trump. But don’t necessarily try him in the Senate.

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After losing my rose-colored view of Speaker Pelosi, I came across the following news item which details how she’s been working on a bill to reduce drug pricing in secret, where it appears that this legislation doesn’t even allow for the government-run elderly healthcare program, Medicare to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies to reduce pricing.

Here’s the rest of the story…

On June 6, 2019, Jake Johnson of Common Dreams penned the following report, “Citing Fears of Americans Getting ‘Screwed,’ Progressive Democrats Call Out Pelosi for Crafting Pharma-Friendly Drug Pricing Bill in Secret.” (“If we don’t address this in a big and bold way, a lot of us should go home and start knitting,” said Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Mark Pocan.”)

Excerpts:

“Amid concerns that the House Democratic leadership is crafting a drug pricing bill that is far too friendly to the pharmaceutical industry, progressives in Congress this week publicly called out House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for writing the legislation in secret and ignoring those who favor a more aggressive approach to lowering out-of-control prescription drug costs.”

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“Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) was among the progressive Democrats who spoke out Wednesday (6/5/2019), telling reporters that the House Democratic leadership has left “most members” completely in the dark on the details of the prescription drug bill.”

That’s a problem and it’s part of a pattern, I think, where we don’t know things until 48 hours before,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “And then it’s like, ‘You’re either with us or you’re against us.'”

As Common Dreams reported last month, progressives raised alarm after Pelosi informed Democrats behind closed doors that she is throwing her weight behind a plan that would require the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to negotiate the prices of at least 25 drugs each year.”

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“The legislation, according to HuffPost, would do nothing to challenge the monopoly power of pharmaceutical companies.”

“While the Pelosi-backed plan hasn’t been finalized, Alex Lawson—executive director of the advocacy group Social Security Works—warned that what is known of the proposal is “not even close to sufficient” to address the crisis of soaring drug costs.”

“Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas), the sponsor of a more ambitious drug pricing bill, likened Pelosi’s approach to the drug pricing legislation with the secretive process the GOP used to craft its Obamacare repeal bill and tax cuts in 2017.”

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“We have a great history with Republicans where they locked up their healthcare plan so that even Rand Paul couldn’t see it, and they held their tax plan to the last minute,” Doggett told reporters, “so if there’s to be good collaboration here there needs to be more openness.”

“Under Doggett’s bill—which currently has 125 House co-sponsors—Medicare would be permitted to negotiate drug prices. Should drug price negotiations fail, Doggett’s bill would require the government to authorize low-cost generics—which, unlike the Pelosi-backed plan, would threaten Big Pharma’s monopoly power over the drug market.”

“As HuffPost reported last month, Pelosi and the Democratic leadership “have ignored Doggett’s bill,” which was endorsed by the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) in April.”

Image result for PHOTOS OF Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Mark Pocan (D-Wis.)
Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., and Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis..

“Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), co-chairs of the CPC, joined their fellow progressive lawmakers in raising alarm about Pelosi’s secretive process this week.”

“According to Politico, Jayapal said Tuesday that she “sent Democratic leadership staff a list of questions about their drug pricing work, demanding details after the latest plan raised ‘lots of concerns’ about whether it would make a significant dent in the prices Americans pay for their prescription drugs.”

“Pocan told reporters on (6/4/2019) that he simply wants “to make sure that everyone is brought on board” and warned of the consequences of crafting milquetoast legislation that does little to tackling soaring drug costs, an issue that polls near the top of the public’s healthcare concerns.”

3 comments

  1. I can see the argument for steering away from impeachment but there can be one too many concessions.
    In their haste to get elected this was what happened to the Labour Party under Tony Blair (God knows I fell for it at the time too! So desperate were we to get rid of the Conservatives)

    Liked by 1 person

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