October 21, 2021

October 21, 2021

Your Source for Free Speech,
Talk Radio, Podcasts, and News.

Congress’s Role in Creating America’s Healthcare Crisis

by | Jan 5, 2019 |

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

In 2017, President-elect Donald Trump sent pharmaceutical stocks into a nosedive by speaking an important truth. Drug companies, he said, are “getting away with murder” with their pricing of lifesaving drugs. True to his word, the president, since his election, has pushed for needed reforms aimed at lowering the costs of prescription drugs.

On this matter, the president and socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) agree: Americans are paying too much for drugs, medical supplies, and equipment. The president and Sanders would like to see U.S. prices aligned with other nations’ lower prices.

I recently attended a meeting in Washington of health care professionals, where the attendees were mostly physicians and other citizens, including pastors and health care workers, concerned about the high cost of drugs and the effect that drug shortages have on their patients and congregants. The meeting was racially and politically diverse. Of great concern was the life-threatening situations people are placed in when making decisions about whether to purchase their medicine or pay the rent or house note.

As informed as I am on many issues, this was an area of ignorance for me. I had never heard of legalized drug kickbacks and relationships between hospitals, facilities, and group purchasing organizations called GPOs. This health care system of legal kickbacks and rebates has escalated the cost of drugs and placed life-saving medications out of reach for many Americans.

Dr. John G. Brock-Utne recently wrote in industry publication Anesthesiology News about the root causes of drug shortages. According to Dr. Brock-Utne, members of Congress in 1987 allowed lobbyists to insert a paragraph into the 1987 Medicare/Medicaid reform bill that created “the Medicare anti-kickback statute, which created a safe harbor,” exempting and allowing a handful of GPOs (middlemen) to control billions of dollars of generic drugs, medical equipment, and supplies such as the IV saline solution that is used by 5,000 U.S. hospitals and medical facilities.

The safe-harbor exemption for GPOs has hurt Americans by forcing smaller drug companies and suppliers out of business, and has become a major contributing factor to rising health care costs.

Instead of fixing the safe harbor that exempted GPOs from criminal penalties for their legal racketeering activities, pharmacies negotiated a similar deal in 2003, leading to the creation of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs).

Insulin

PBMs are middlemen responsible for escalating prices for badly needed drugs, such as insulin. A 2016 article on the website Diabetes.co.uk on the true cost of insulin indicated that 29.1 million people in the United States have diabetes, and the number of people affected could rise from “one in 10 people to one in three by 2050.”

Rather than paring prices, the PBMs have created financial windfalls for drug companies, while greatly increasing the cost of drugs such as insulin.

A month’s supply of insulin, which previously had a co-pay of $25 to $40 a month, can range in price from $120 to $400 for someone with no insurance, a traveler in an emergency situation, or for someone with a high deductible. Sadly, this lifesaving drug can be unaffordable for a low-income person. Most adversely affected are racial and ethnic minorities and low-income white people, a higher percentage of whom suffer from diabetes.

African-Americans are more likely to have diabetes. This is why some people see intervention as a civil-rights issue, where drug affordability is having a “disparate impact” on minorities. Disparate impact is a legal term described in business terms as a practice or standard that is neutral, meaning it wasn’t intended to have a discriminatory impact, but nonetheless it “disproportionately affects individuals having a disability or belonging to a particular group based on their age, ethnicity, race, or sex.”

With insulin, the disparate impact comes from the PBMs that have pushed the cost of insulin out of the reach of millions. Low-income and working-class white people are also adversely affected by the cost of these life-saving drugs.

The president has proposed executive action to rescind the safe harbor. But as Dr. Brock-Utne pointed out, there is a need for Congress to repeal 42 U.S.C. 1320a-7b(3)(C ) and order the Department of Health and Human Services to revoke rules and regulations that enable PBMs and GPOs to engage in legalized racketeering and price gouging of U.S. citizens.

Rescinding the rules and regulations is a step in the right direction. For Trump to make the enduring change, it must be done legislatively, and to do this, he needs our support for his legislative proposals.

We the People can help by contacting our elected officials to tell them that we want an end to the safe harbor that has allowed legalized kickbacks and racketeering in the health care industry.

If they balk at your directive, then check their campaign donation records to see if they are beholden to pharmaceutical companies or one of the eight largest GPOs that supply hospitals and medical facilities with the pricey supplies that boost healthcare costs.

Novo Nordisk, one of the most notorious abusers of the system, has been jacking up prices and using lobbying dollars to keep legislators on board. One resource you can consult is Physicians for Reform. Watch their video NoMiddlemen, and listen to my podcast interview with Dr. Karladine Graves, a strong advocate for patient choice and reform.

Ordinary people sticking together can win against big companies. We have an opportunity to hold our elected officials accountable and support the president on an issue affecting us, our family members, and neighbors.

Carol M. Swain is an author, speaker, and host of Be the People Podcast on the America Out Loud Network, and a published author in The Epoch Times.

Avatar

Dr. Carol M. Swain is an award-winning political scientist, a former professor of political science and law professor at Vanderbilt University, and a lifetime member of the James Madison Society, an international community of scholars affiliated with the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. Before joining Vanderbilt in 1999, Dr. Swain was a tenured associate professor of politics and public policy at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Dr. Swain is an author, speaker, and the host of the podcast Be The People. Passionate about empowering others to raise their voices in the public square, she is an author, public speaker, and political commentator.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Disclaimer: The information contained in this website is for educational, general information, and entertainment purposes only and is never intended to constitute medical or legal advice or to replace the personalized care of a primary care practitioner or legal expert.

While we endeavor to keep this information up to date and correct, the information provided by America Out Loud, its website(s), and any properties (including its radio shows and podcasts) makes no representations, or warranties of any kind, expressed, or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability with respect to its website(s) or the information, products, services or related graphics and images contained on the website(s) for any purpose.

The opinions expressed on the website(s), and the opinions expressed on the radio shows and podcasts, are the opinions of the show hosts and do not necessarily represent the opinions, beliefs, or policies of anyone or any entity we may endorse. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.

At no time, nor in any event, will we be liable for any loss, or damage, including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss of data or profits arising out of, in an association of, or connection with the use of this website.

Through this website, users can link to other websites that may be listed. Those websites are not under the control of America Out Loud or its brands. We have no control over the nature, content, or availability of those sites. America Out Loud has no control over what the sites do with the information they collect. The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation, nor does it endorse the views expressed with or by them.

Every effort is made to keep the website up and running smoothly. However, America Out Loud takes no responsibility for, nor are we, and will not be liable for being temporarily unavailable due to technical difficulties beyond our control. America Out Loud does not sell, trade, nor market email addresses or other personal data.

Use the code ‘OUTLOUD’ and receive your 20% discount on your first order.

The Truth Behind the Soviet-Era Supply Chain Crisis

The Truth Behind the Soviet-Era Supply Chain Crisis

The latest bottleneck in the supply chain is the hundreds of container ships waiting to be unloaded in West Coast ports like Los Angeles and San Diego. The mainstream media tell us the cause is a shortage of truck drivers. Now we find out that there ARE enough drivers (for the Ports, at least). The real cause is the State of California imposing an…

The Covid Gene Therapy Shot and Its Approval or Not

The Covid Gene Therapy Shot and Its Approval or Not

As if the stench wasn’t enough, until this fake Pfizer approval, pushed through with the complicity of a fake president, elected by fake votes, and pushed by the fake media, until today the fastest approval for a vaccine ever took five years – which was for Ebola, that kills ~50% of its victims. By contrast, we have around just six months of safety data for the Covid shot until approval, and the survival rate is 99.997 if you are under 21 and not far below that even up to age 70…

America’s Decline is a Choice

America’s Decline is a Choice

Many in America think that America needs to be brought down to size. Barack Obama once said, “My legacy will be an America brought down to the level of the rest of the world,” and though Obama was not able to realize this ambition, the Biden Administration is moving full speed ahead with plans to weaken the United States militarily and economically, destroying the wealth of the American people in the process…

BLM Joins MAGA in Extraordinary Backlash against Dems

BLM Joins MAGA in Extraordinary Backlash against Dems

Marching alongside residents like John Tabacco, NYC Conservative Activist and host of the Newsmax show “Wiseguys” were equally incensed New Yorkers like Rev Kevin McCall, a BLM activist. Where MAGA rally-goers generally remain lawful and peaceful, unlike what mainstream media likes to portray, BLM protesters have no such parameters. McCall “made it clear to the crowd that sometimes civil disobedience is the only way to get the government to listen.”

19 Biden Policies Designed to Destroy the Middle-Class

19 Biden Policies Designed to Destroy the Middle-Class

The dark forces behind the scenes working to reshape the U.S. are not stupid. It’s clear they’re working to destabilize society, with the long-term objective being to get them the power to transform America! The enemy of the Biden Cabal are clearly those terrible middle-class deplorables who cling to their guns and Bibles. It’s all those creepy people who go to work every day, pay their taxes, obey the law…

School Transfers Gender-Fluid Boy to Another School to Rape Again

School Transfers Gender-Fluid Boy to Another School to Rape Again

The latest mutation is “gender fluid” people – you can be a man one day, a woman the next day, then back to a man, and then whatever suits you. The predictable result? Rapists can now claim to be female whenever it helps them to rape. This rapist wore a skirt, entered the girl’s restroom, then raped a girl. Twice. Enabled and abetted by the school authorities, who knowingly transferred him to another school where he promptly committed the same crime all over again…

Biden Blunders Make Trump Tweets Sound Like Music

Biden Blunders Make Trump Tweets Sound Like Music

Politically biased private communication monopolies have canceled social media accounts of a duly elected sitting president, along with blocking scandalous information regarding foreign influence-peddling by his opponent just prior to the 2020 election. First Amendment rights are being routinely abridged through an ever-creeping ideologically…

Vaccination Alone Will Not End This Pandemic

Vaccination Alone Will Not End This Pandemic

We can see that as the months rolled on over the summer and the Delta variant shaded in the CDC variant report, the virus has found a way to attack the most vulnerable citizens who so badly needed protection from the vaccines. Since so many unvaccinated have natural immunity from prior infection, we can expect a greater proportion of those with severe illness to be among the vaccinated…

Header

Your Source for Free Speech, Talk Radio, Podcasts, and News.

Here we take on the challenges of our generation so that we can preserve future generations.

Help Support Our Mission

iHeartRadio

The APPS are free; the mission is priceless!

Free APP

Podcast Networks

Apple Podcasts
Google Podcasts
Spotify
Pandora
Tunein
iHeart
Stitcher

Subscribe and Listen on Your Favorite APP

Our Columnists and Show Hosts

COVID Solution Summit

Apple Podcasts

Evacuating Americans & fully-vetted Afghan's at Risk - Help Us!

Apple Podcasts

Empowering and mentoring conservative trailblazers from Generation Z to win!

Apple Podcasts

Turning Point Action is Recruiting Precinct Chairs - Become a Grassroots Warrior Today!

Apple Podcasts

URGENT - KEEP NINE
Please join us to protect the Supreme Court:
Sign the Petition!

Apple Podcasts

The LATINO USA EXIT from the Democrat Party, click for details...

Apple Podcasts

Fighting corporate censorship and ensuring voter integrity...

Apple Podcasts

Support wounded and fallen police officers. The Wounded Blue.

Wounded Blue
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap