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A Bunch Of Stuff Happened Today



Let's see... what happened today-- aside from all the regular Manchin drama? I'm sure you heard the great news about JFK, Jr., right? Not dead, running for VP under Señor Trumpanzee. And Rick Santorum (with his baby's fetus in a jar) is joining Newsmax as a senior political analyst (having been fired by CNN). And... what else, what else, what else? Oh, year, the sociopath who pushed the absurd Arizona audit to please Trump-- and cost Arizona taxpayers millions while doing nothing but sow discord-- Senate President Karen Fann, won't be running for reelection. And... if Marjorie Traitor Greene catches COVID-19 she's more likely than most Americans her age to die because she has refused to be vaccinated. She was ranting and raving earlier today about "Vaccine Nazis... ruining the country" and whined that everyone gets mad at her when she accuses Americans of being Nazis "but that’s exactly what they are."


So... what a day! Oh yeah... and House Democrats are making the preposterous claim that they reached a deal to control drugs prices. If you are breaking out the champagne, keep it for your pet's birthday party. In their first paragraph, Jonathan Weisman and Emily Cochran repeated the Democratic claims that it will allow the government to negotiate prices for medications covered by Medicare. That's an exaggeration-- which is confirmed in their second paragraph: "The prescription drug deal is limited." Yes, very, very limited-- and in all likelihood has nothing to do with you.

Starting in 2023, negotiations could begin on what Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon called the most expensive drugs-- treatments for cancer and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as anticoagulants. Most drugs would still be granted patent exclusivity for five years before negotiations could start, and more advanced drugs, called biologics, would be protected for 12 years.
But for the first time, Medicare would be able to step in after those periods, even if drug companies secure patent extensions or otherwise game the patent system.
The prescription drug compromise was hard-fought and required Democrats to overcome an onslaught of lobbying by the powerful pharmaceutical industry, which succeeded in substantially watering down their initial bid to allow the government to negotiate prices on a far broader universe of drugs. The final deal includes a $2,000 annual cap on out-of-pocket expenditures by older Americans facing catastrophic health issues, a strict $35 monthly cap on insulin expenses and automatic rebates on drugs whose prices rise faster than inflation.
But the pharmaceutical industry won its share of concessions. The inflation rebates initially contained a “look back” provision that would have assessed rebates on drug prices that began to soar as far back as 2012. That would have yielded one-time levies on drug companies in the billions of dollars. And some Democrats wanted Medicare to have price-negotiating authority immediately, with no patent exclusivity periods.
Still, boosters of the compromise believe the negotiating powers it grants Medicare will be a first step toward the broader powers that Democrats have been campaigning on for decades. And, they said, the rules curtailing ever-extending patent protections will be key to lowering costs.

Two crooked Senate Democrats who are in the pockets of Big PhRMA, Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ), have signed off on the weak, pathetic not even face-saving plan, but the third crooked Democrat in the pockets of Big PhRMA, Joe Manchin, hasn't.

And there were some elections, statewide in Virginia and New Jersey, plus 3 congressional seats and lots of legislative and local races, including mayoral races in NYC, Boston, Seattle, Cleveland, Minneapolis and Buffalo. We'll deal with all the results in the morning, when the results are clearer beyond the fact that Manchin and Sinema and their Blue Dog allies certainly delivered big for the GOP today!


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