Congress has Single Payer Health Insurance —Why Don’t You?

Office of Attending Physicians

What turns Congress members on? First and foremost, keeping their jobs. In service to this goal, at election time, they declare their fealty to the interests of the people they are supposed to serve. Once in office, their gaze turns inward. Exhibit A —members-only health care located in an unpublicized Office of the Attending Physician (OAP). Denounced as “socialized medicine” when the American people demand it, Medicare-for-all is alive and well for members of Congress. The Office of the Attending Physician (OAP) provides virtually free primary care services to each member of Congress. If you want to know who’s paying for it, look in the mirror. The taxes we pay that Congress and a succession of presidents keep telling us won’t be enough to fund universal Medicare-for-All are enough to subsidize first class healthcare — restricted to members. What’s wrong with this picture? SA has some possible answers in “Congress Has Single Payer Healthcare — Why Don’t You?

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Drug Company Rip Off Amidst the Suffering and Dying

Human Need

The big drug rip-off is coming. Gilead’s drug remdesivir is being hailed as the “new standard of care. “ (Dr. Anthony Fauci ). The honchos at the drug company are agog with excitement. To throw sick Americans a lifeline? Not exactly. To introduce a billion-dollar blockbuster? More likely. Predictably, President’s Trumps scientific advisory committee is all in. Isn’t that what friends are for? First developed to treat Ebola, remdesivir flopped. But not to worry, the feds had contributed $79 million to R&D on the drug, so investors were spared most of the pain. As the coronavirus pandemic surged worldwide, Gilead bet on the same horse, hauling remdesivir out of the closet — new disease, same drug. It flopped again — “remdesivir did not improve patients’ condition or reduce the pathogen’s presence in the bloodstream…The drug also showed significant side effects in some, which meant 18 patients were taken off it. (“Gilead’s anti-viral drug, remdesivir, flops in first trial,” Financial Times, April 23, 2020.) At least, transparency prevailed and consumers around the world were among the first to know. Not exactly. These results were accidentally released by the World Health Organization, which quickly tried to put the genie back in the bottle — “…a draft document [of the failed study was] inadvertently posted on the website and taken down as soon as the mistake was noted.” There you have it — a history of repeated failures that should have diminished expectations among U.S. infectious disease experts. Why didn’t it? Read “Drug Company Rip Off Amidst the Suffering and Dying” for even more evidence that profit trumps care in the U.S. privatized health care system.

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