Politics

Democrats, Drug Prices, and the Betrayal of the American People.

What the drug price regulation bill that just passed is actually resigned to do.

Photo via Nancy Pelosi on Instagram

Over the past few years in particular, the divide between the progressive left and the centrist old guard of the Democratic Party has grown significantly more difficult to ignore. Since Bernie Sanders gave voice to the left on the national stage with his first run against Hillary Clinton, a significant portion of the Democratic Party has decided it is time to expect and demand more of our elected representatives, and certain topics rarely discussed by our politicians or television pundits came to the forefront of the discourse.

Among the most necessary issues facing Americans that our politicians have been forced to acknowledge is the issue of drug prices, and the pharmaceutical industry’s deplorable but predictable habit of charging Americans as much as they can possibly get away with. Recently there has been a “bipartisan” discussion about drug price regulation, and of course the democratic leadership has been quick to tout their efforts to work with Republicans to come up with the solution.

Leave it to them to betray the American people.

Of course, the bill that just passed in the democratic-led House of Representatives shouldn’t even be considered a halfhearted attempt at actual reform by anyone who actually cares about drug price regulation. In fact, I’m sure I’m not alone in believing it’s actually designed to do the exact opposite.

As written, the bill that democratic leadership pushed for and succeeded in getting passed would only regulate the costs of twenty five prescription drugs. In addition, it bans the regulation of any other prescription drugs for ten years.

Before the bill passed the House, an article in the Intercept was published that states:

“The relative weakness of the bill coming to the House floor makes a mockery of the health care debate unfolding on the presidential campaign trail. While 2020 Democratic hopefuls debate a sweeping, comprehensive reform of the health care system, Democrats in the House are having trouble giving authority to the government to negotiate lower prices for more than a mere 25 drugs.”

That is not a bill meant to help the American people. That is a bill designed to protect the profits of companies that — if we’re being honest— are responsible for deaths of tens if not hundreds of thousands of Americans because of their greed.

For far too long, the Democratic Party has not only been complicit in the profit driven harm to the American working and middle classes, but in this instance they are active participants. This is a slap in the face to anyone who actually cares about making drug costs affordable, and should be treated as such.

With a bill that had no chance of being signed in to law, Democrats shouldn’t have even considered bowing their heads. Instead, they should have used it as an opportunity to show the American people how far they would go to help them, and highlight the Republican’s blatant refusal to do what’s necessary. But once again, all the Democrats have succeeded in doing is showing the American people how bound they are to their corporate donors, and how little they care about the best interests of the rest of us.


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