health

The circus sideshow of health care politics is providing yet another smokescreen for the real agenda of the corporate 2-party dictatorship. Contrary to the “different visions for America” portrayed by MSM talking heads, Democrats and Republicans vigorously agree on a fundamental principle: Big Pharma will continue to rake Americans over the coals, with the help of federal government.

The health care “debate” has been portrayed as Republicans and Democrats valiantly fighting for the interest of American citizens. But as Ron Paul points out, the actual difference amounts to slightly different degrees of government control over health care, all of it stifling free market solutions and driving up costs.

Exhibit A is the recent move by Democrats and Republicans alike to ban the importation of prescription drugs from other countries such as Canada. While the American Health Care Act takes all the headlines, Congress is quietly passing the FDA Reauthorization Act of 2017—the framework of the Big Pharma protectionist racket.

As Rolling Stone reports, only a few weeks ago Democrats and Republicans came together to defeat an amendment that “would have allowed for importation of drugs from FDA-approved facilities in Canada.” Senators who supported importation in January suddenly reversed their position, voting no when it seemed the amendment could actually pass. As expected, “no” votes came from senators who receiver copious amounts of money from the pharma lobby.

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Every time a lawmaker is pressed on why they vote to deny Americans the ability to get cheaper prescription drugs—a simple free-market solution to outrageously high American drug prices—the lawmakers play the bogus “safety” card. Without providing a fact-based rationale, they simply suggest that we can’t “ensure foreign drugs meet American safety standards.”

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The reality is that lots of drugs and drug ingredients are imported from other countries, but only the pharmaceutical industry is allowed to do it, while pharmacists and consumers are banned.

“In fact, an astonishing 40 percent of all pharmaceuticals sold in the United States are already imported, as are 80 percent of the chemical ingredients. These imported drugs and drug ingredients arrive by way of more than 300,000 foreign food and drug manufacturing facilities that are regularly certified as safe by the FDA.

These drugs come from manufacturing facilities not just in Canada but across the globe, from the first world to the third, sometimes using the same kind of degraded and underpaid labor forces we bemoan in other industries.”

It doesn’t take much inspection to discover the blatant, cruel way that Congress protects Big Pharma. President Trump is on board, too. Campaign promises to bring down drug prices for Americans have evaporated, as industry lobbyists have filled his administration. Sure enough, in mid-June it was revealed that the “White House task force [on drug pricing] echoes pharma proposals.”

That’s not where it ends, though. The FDA Reauthorization Act is also known as the “user fee” bill because this is where Big Pharma pays FDA for the privilege of fleecing the masses. According to Stat News, the bill “spells out how much branded and generic drug companies and medical device manufacturers pay to support their product reviews at the FDA.”

Several amendments in the “user fee” bill opposed by Big Pharma were shot down, including drug importation, one that would have “kept branded manufacturers from using certain strategies to delay generic drug launches” and another that would “encourage pediatric studies in cancer drugs.”

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While federal government gladly intervenes in the functioning of the health care market, lawmakers continually prohibit federal and state governments from negotiating lower prices for bulk purchases. Whatever price the industry wishes for its patented products, it gets.

Hospitals, too, are prevented from getting discount drug prices at the behest of Big Pharma.

“Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, for example, used a recent oversight letter to echo the pharmaceutical industry’s longtime concerns with a controversial drug discount program that largely benefits hospitals. That inquiry may lead to a congressional hearing — one likely to be far better for pharmaceutical companies than hospitals, Republican committee leaders told STAT.”

Government has become expert at protecting the financial interests of various industries while pretending to “debate” over the best interests of Americans. This protectionist racket comes at the expense of human health and lives.

The issue was underscored last year when the price for a life-saving injection for children called the EpiPen was hiked to $630, causing a public furor. Other outrageous examples include pills that cost $1,000 in America but only $4 in India.

The public is well aware they are being fleeced, as 77 percent of survey respondents say drug prices are “unreasonable” and 71 percent favor the importation of drugs from Canada.

But public opinion and free market solutions have no place in a system where Big Pharma lobbyists have lawmakers in their pockets. PhRMA (Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America) spent $7.9 million in the first three months of 2017, deploying an army of lobbyists and outside firms to Capitol Hill, while individual pharma companies spent $20 million during the same period.

That spending doesn’t count campaign donations, either. The website OpenSecrets, maintained by the Center for Responsive Politics, estimates the industry gave about $27.9 million to candidates on both sides of the aisle during the 2016 cycle.”

In the coming days we will be inundated with partisan nonsense over Obamacare and Obamacare 2.0, while the real scheme orchestrated by the corporatocracy is already set in motion.

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Justin Gardner is a peaceful free-thinker with a background in the biological sciences. He is interested in bringing rationality back into the national discourse, and independent journalism as a challenge to the status quo.
  • Steve

    I would hope everyone understands this. The Us vs Them game is strictly for show, votes, and to divide us so we don’t rise up against them. Other than that, they are the same corrupt politicians.

    • Steve Rusk

      Conservatives are only the obvious hypocrites, Liberals are the subtle, devious ones. The verbal interactions between the two can only be described as symphony of sophistry.

  • truthseeker53

    Lucifer’s “jew” bankster’s pharma and their bought and paid for minions.

    • Damiana

      Why do you put “jew” in quotation marks like that?

      • truthseeker53

        Revelation 2:9

        I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.

        Revelation 3:9

        Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

        • Damiana
          • David Katz

            Remember you can’t stereotype all Jews even Jew have misidentified to accusation. Judaism and Zionism are different. Judaism doesn’t support Zionism. Zionism is evil! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c8aa2fd904e1d5dda737075fe62a0bde0d8e43a1d51611b890b64a6c84ed4170.jpg

          • David Katz

            Therefore, I don’t support Israel.

          • billdeserthills

            Thing is it’s pretty clear that jews need a place to go– much as I dislike zionists Israel is the jewish promised land and you should know that very well

          • David Katz

            I don’t want to go Israel. Fuck Israel.

          • billdeserthills

            I don’t wanna go to Israel either, I don’t like their gun laws, but the rest of the world’s jews need a place to go.

          • David Katz

            Be careful what you are stereotype. Most black people doesn’t want go back to Africa and want to stay in America like I do that I don’t want to go back to Israel. Judaism and Zionism is completely different like this. Also I’m not freak religion.

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/91c793ce65e9746e2455277dffb5b943760d122908e3ba2ed87b70a47e9ffd14.jpg

          • billdeserthills

            I can say the same thing back at you–Where are all the jews in Israel supposed to go? You would prefer them Dead? There are only about 15 million jews left in the world, after 6,000 years of slaughter

            Perhaps I’m all wrong about you and you’d prefer living next to muslims?

          • David Katz

            i don’t care about muslims, Jews, and whatever identify is. I just hate Zionist not Judaism. My opinion Jew should mix with other like black, asians and whatever should mix and among, not segregation. I’m just against Zionist and illuminati. I’m respect to other people who different religion. Got it? Don’t forget Israel created by Rothschild, not Judaism. Zionism and Judaism have different identify of Jew like Zionism is fake Jew and judiasm is real Jew to good compare of real weed and fake weed (spice k-2) just example and conception.

          • David Katz

            See http://www.anonews.co/rothschild-family-israel/

            That why I don’t support Rothschild created Israel. Look this!

          • David Katz

            I have question for you as “devil advocates” what if you want to ban all of guns then how we can protect against aliens when they attack us? so do you want to let them kill us without guns? That point is…. guns have positive and negative even everything positive and negative from small in cell to biggest in universe for everything of positive and negative no matter what…

          • David Katz

            Maybe you should read about “12th planet”, “nibiru”, “planet-x” I believe illuminati’s top number one about secret agenda of 12th planet. I just suggest you. If you not interesting that fine with me. That all is your choice for your life, not me, not them.

          • billdeserthills

            Yes a certain nutter called Renegade Prophet has taught me all I’ll ever need to know about that bs fairy tale–And if you aren’t careful said nut will show up as The Admonisher and dump some crap on you

          • billdeserthills

            I love guns personally, but lets not forget most guns are 100+ year old technology–I certainly hope when it comes to attacking technologically advanced aliens we have a better solution

          • David Katz

            True. You right. Anyway, nice talk to you. U r cool.

          • billdeserthills

            Israel is the land promised to jews in the Torah, whether you believe it was created by someone else is on you–That doesn’t change the fact that Israel is the Jews Promised Land

          • billdeserthills

            Israel is a land mass created by God– BTW I used spice for years, along with marijuana and either will get a person high.

            Are you living at home with a parent?

  • disqus_bFXHHP3bse

    Did the insurance debacle start with Obama care? I don’t remember there being such a mess like this before Obama stuck his fingers in the pot