I have diabetes. If I don’t have insulin, I die. This should be a no-brainer: Nothing that someone’s life depends on should be for profit. But my life hangs in the balance every day, because of greedy pharmaceutical makers and lawmakers like North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis who take their contributions. Tillis has received $139,626 from pharmaceutical companies, and voted for all three Republican attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which would have cut coverage, raised costs and gutted protections for people with diabetes like me. I have to pay cash for insulin, because North Carolina’s Republican-controlled legislature won’t expand Medicaid, and my income is too low for me to qualify for subsidies. I have to ration this life-saving drug, so there are mornings when I wake up disoriented and nauseous because my blood sugar is dangerously low. Too much lower, and I could have died in my sleep. Sometimes I blame myself, but I shouldn’t. I should be angry. I don’t understand why my insulin pen costs $636 for less than a month’s supply. No, I do understand, actually. Greed, that’s all. Because we need insulin to survive, to actually, literally survive, pharmaceutical giants charge as much as they can get away with. And our lawmakers turn a blind eye as they fill their pockets. Your greed kills, Thom Tillis, and I don’t want it to kill me or anyone else. Are you listening?
Lyn Carver, a member of Down Home North Carolina and People’s Action, gave this testimony on Capitol Hill in a press conference with diabetic patients and progressive lawmakers to demand lower prices for prescription drugs.
DNI Coats Quits After White House Suppresses Russia Warnings
Dan Coats to step down as intelligence chief; Trump picks loyalist for job. NYT: “President Trump announced on Sunday that Dan Coats would step down as the director of national intelligence after a fraught tenure marked by tension with the Oval Office, and he tapped one of his staunch defenders, Representative John Ratcliffe, to take over the country’s expansive network of spy agencies. Mr. Coats, a former senator and longtime pillar of the Republican establishment who angered the president by providing unwelcome assessments of Russia, North Korea and other matters, told Mr. Trump last week that it was time to move on, officials said. His departure removes one of the most prominent national security officials willing to contradict the president. If Mr. Ratcliffe is confirmed by the Senate, he will offer a starkly different perspective in the Situation Room, one more in line with Mr. Trump’s thinking. Mr. Ratcliffe, a third-term Republican from Texas and a former prosecutor, has embraced Mr. Trump’s theories about the Russia investigation and was among the sharpest questioners of Robert S. Mueller III, the former special counsel, at last week’s hearings.”
More Dems Call For Impeachment Hearings
With Sunday surge, nearly half of House Democrats back impeachment inquiry. Politico: “Four more rank-and-file Democrats called for opening an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump on Sunday, inching lawmakers closer to a significant symbolic milestone: a majority of all House Democrats. Though the steadily climbing total may not move Speaker Nancy Pelosi off of her resistance to opening a formal impeachment inquiry, Sunday’s burst of support suggests momentum behind the effort is growing and accelerating. More than a dozen Democrats — including Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.), a member of Pelosi’s leadership team — have newly signaled their support since former special counsel Robert Mueller testified to Congress on Wednesday.”
Sanders, Patients Demand Lower Insulin Prices
Sanders campaign drives diabetes patients to Canada for cheaper insulin. Detroit Free Press: “Rachel Lockwood was on a mission when she drove more than 150 miles from Greenville to Detroit Sunday morning with three of her eight kids. She hopped on a bus to Windsor with U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Democratic candidate for president, with the goal of finding insulin in Canada at a fraction of the cost for what she pays for the drug in the United States. Three of her kids, Jocelyn, 16, Brady, 12, and Cyrus, 7, all have insulin-dependent Type 1 diabetes. The American version of insulin is $620 per box, which lasts about six weeks. The same thing in Canada costs $100 per box. It was Lockwood’s story, along with a dozen other people with diabetes, that prompted Sanders, as part of his presidential campaign trip to Detroit for Tuesday’s debate in Detroit, to charter a bus in Detroit and head to the Olde Walkerville Pharmacy in Canada. The families’ stories provided a focal point to Sanders’ argument that corporate greed, fueled by political contributions to campaigns, could only be stopped by progressive policies. ‘As Americans, what we have to ask ourselves is how come the same exact medicine, in this case insulin, is sold here in Canada for one-tenth of the price that was sold in the United States,’ Sanders said. ‘And it has everything to do with the incredible greed of the pharmaceutical industry.'”
More from OurFuture.org:
Nadler To The Rescue? Miles Mogulescu: In announcing that the House Judiciary Committee is effectively commencing an impeachment inquiry, Committee Chair Jerry Nadler may have begun to rescue House Democrats from Nancy Pelosi’s misguided and stubborn attempts to keep impeachment off the table, just as Congress left town for a six-week summer recess. Pelosi was prepared to leave Democrats in an unsettled and untenable position during the six-week summer recess, having proclaimed that Trump had committed crimes and that the President isn’t above the law, but that there were no plans were in place to hold him accountable except further investigations. Fortunately for the Democrats, Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler partly came to their rescue with a press conference last Friday, as Congress was leaving town. Flanked by 11 members of the Judiciary Committee who support an impeachment inquiry, Nadler said that “in effect” the Judiciary Committee was already conducting an impeachment inquiry. While Nadler and his Judiciary Committee colleagues may have saved Democrats from having nothing to say to their constituents about impeachment during the recess, the question remains whether they’re being too clever by half, but grassroots Democrats who support impeachment hearings – that is to say, the majority of Democrats – must show up in force at their Representatives’ offices and town hall meetings and demand that full-blown impeachment hearings commence in September when Congress returns.