Things We’re Thinking About: Medicare for All, Drug Companies and Price Fixing, Harris, Iran, Malcolm Nance

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Things We’re Thinking About Today

  • Sanders and Elijah Cummings have committed to holding drug companies accountable for a massive price-fixing conspiracy. Generic drug companies reportedly engaged in an effort to obstruct a congressional investigation held in 2014 into price fixing practices of several companies.  As Sanders’ website states:  “Executives at a dozen leading pharmaceutical companies reportedly were found to have engaged in an unprecedented cover-up. They deleted their text messages, coordinated their responses, and lied to our offices in order to conceal a massive conspiracy to fix prices for generic drugs, raising them by as much as 1,000 percent.  As they managed this criminal scheme at golf events, parties, and industry meals, these executives demonstrated once again that fraud is their business model. How many have died as a result of this illegal racket to push generic drugs for asthma, cancer, H.I.V., and high cholesterol out of the reach of the neediest Americans?  Americans must not be forced to continue paying outrageously high and inflated prices for the medicine they need.  Congress must stand up to the powerful pharmaceutical industry and substantially lower drug prices in this country.”
  • Meanwhile, Trump pardoned Conrad Black a man who fleeced millions from shareholders. Black had written a glowing book about Trump.
  • Kamala Harris is a co-sponsor of Sanders’s plan to create Medicare-for-all. Sanders sees no role for private insurance companies.  Sanders is the only Democratic candidate who unequivocally says we should get rid of private insurance.  Harris over the weekend seems to have backtracked on her position of getting rid of private insurance companies.
  • Neither Klobuchar, O’Rourke or Swalwall support Medicare for All.
  • Buttigieg opposes having the federal government produce and sell generic drugs to lower drug prices. Both Sanders and Warren support this move.
  • Biden sees Trump as an “aberration.” After Trump is gone, he says, things will get back to “normal” and the Republicans will work with Democrats in a bipartisan manner.  As Sarah Kendzior has written, this level of “delusion is dangerous.”
  • Tim Kaine says that he has information that the Trump administration is “poking” Iran to try to generate a reason for intervention.
  • On Monday, the Saudis claimed that their oil tankers had been damaged and blamed Iran. Many military commentators, including Malcolm Nance, were highly skeptical.
  • Yemen’s Houthi rebels conducted drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities on Tuesday.

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