The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Congress to Population:
Pay or Die

Apr 29, 2019

Seniors testify repeatedly before congressional committees about high drug prices. Sixty million people are receiving Medicare, but Congress still blocks the program from getting lower drug prices.

It took 40 years to get drug coverage for seniors, yes, 40 years after Medicare began. Then Congress allowed the Veterans Administration to negotiate for the lowest-possible drug prices for veterans. Yet Congress blocked negotiations to help lower prices for seniors or disabled people.

Congress lets for-profit companies, so-called pharmacy benefits managers, negotiate these prices. Did drug prices go down? Of course not! Big pharmaceutical companies raised their prices more slowly due to some bad publicity. Meanwhile, pharmacy benefits managers continue to “lower” prices by taking some drugs off prescription plans. Too bad for those who need a certain drug.

Pay up or die – say elected politicians. They get more than 200 million dollars a year from Big Pharma’s lobbying. Those dollars keep drug prices high, too high for millions of people who need them to live.