Et Tu, Democrats?

Roughly, we now know the ratio of compromised Senate Democrats to compromised Senate Republicans, when it comes to “Big Pharma.” It’s 3 to 1 in favor of compromised Republicans. And although that sounds pretty good, it isn’t good enough. In fact, it’s pretty damned pathetic.

Now, I expect the big business-friendly GOP to be corrupted by an industry that enjoys high profit margins, the highest of all industries. And I expect a few Democrats to be influenced by lobbyists and industry money, money from an industry that keeps substantially raising drug prices every year. That’s just human nature. But I confess I thought such corruption would be rather limited among members of a party that purports to be on the side of the “little guy.”

Image result for prescription drugsOn a budget resolution advanced by Bernie Sanders and Amy Klobuchar, one crafted to allow cheaper prescription drugs from other countries, where drugs are less costly, to be imported into the U.S. so consumers could benefit from the lower prices, 13 Democrats sided with 39 Republicans to kill it. That’s 13 Democrats—27% of the Senate Democratic Caucus.

There were plenty of excuses from tainted Democrats—future presidential hopeful Corey Booker (laughingly) said he opposed it because of a lack of “safety standards,” as if other countries don’t give a damn whether prescription drugs kill people—but the bottom line is that the damn thing would have passed if a few more Democrats would have found it within themselves to ignore the powerful tug of corporate power and signed on to a sensible resolution, even if only for the symbolism. They didn’t. And here is who didn’t:

Corey Booker (NJ)
Bob Menendez (NJ)
Chris Coons (DE)
Tom Carper (DE)
Bob Casey (PA)
Maria Cantwell (WA)
Patty Murray (WA)
Heidi Heitkamp (ND)
Joe Donnelly (IN)
Michael Bennett (CO)
Martin Heinrich (NM)
Jon Tester (MT)
Mark Warner (VA)

Kudos to Missouri’s Claire McCaskill—who is as vulnerable as any red-state Democrat in the country—for voting in favor of all of us who rely on prescription medicine. And to hell with Missouri’s Roy Blunt, who doesn’t give a damn about us, as this vote confirms, as well as his notorious support for Big Tobacco.



  1. I am actually surprised that the legislation came so close to passing. That means that a dozen or so Republicans actually voted for it. Must be the Libertarian-leaning ones. What an earth-shaking event that would have been, had it passed!

    Glad you posted this, Duane. This should have been above the fold in all the papers, but of course there must be room for the latest tweet. 😟


    • Jim,

      There is so much happening at once, some of it by design, to get in serious policy news. I’m afraid all this Russian stuff, as absolutely important as it is, will serve to cover up the effort by Republicans to undo not just Obama’s legacy, but to undo the entire New Deal infrastructure. That has been their goal from the 1930s on.



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