How Big Pharma is Paying to Get Their Say in the Trump Administration
One of President Elect Donald Trump’s big promise during the campaign was to repeal the Affordable Care Act, aka, Obama Care as soon as he would take the oath of office. He stated time and time again, he would “repeal and replace” the Act but few details were actually revealed on the replacement insurance program. One large part would give consumers to shop around for insurance which would allow them to buy insurance across state lines which now they can’t.
Trump also railed against the high costs of prescriptions and that pharmaceutical companies would have to rein in their costs. But a funny thing happened after Trump and the Republican led House and Senate were elected on November 8th. Pharmaceutical companies, worried that Democrats would fight to cut the cost of medications, donated to the coffers of Republicans candidates for office in the House and Senate. Now, those companies appear to have won a golden ticket which will stop any type of legislation to reduce the costs of prescriptions for consumers.
Look no further than Vice-President Elect Mike Pence to see how Big Pharma has an impact on whether consumers will actually have a voice at the table when discussions and legislation are introduced. The pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly & Co., which is based in his home state of Indiana, is Mike Pence’s third largest all-time political contributor, according to calculations by the independent Center for Responsive Politics.
Paul Ryan, the Republican Speaker of the House, from Wisconsin has also seen his coffers grew from Big Pharma. Pfizer Inc, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world kicked in over $63,000 this year alone for Ryan’s reelection campaign. Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky accepted over $200,00 from healthcare giants, Kindred Heathcare and Humana health care.
Pharmaceutical companies have spread the wealth around with Democrats. too. Bernie Sanders, the Former Democratic candidate for President, received a donation from Martin Shkreli, chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals in the sum of $2700. Sanders against what he has called the corruption of prices for prescriptions took that donation and gave it to Whitman-Walker health clinic in Washington.
So will this have any effect on what the Trump administration will do when it repeals Obama Care or with reining in prescription prices for the regular Joe? Time will tell but as right now the transition team is mum on what they will do. As prescription costs continue to grow for families and retirees, voters will need to remind the President Elect of the promises he made throughout the campaign season.
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