J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press
The US Capitol.
By Christina Prignano Globe staff October 11, 2017
A D.C. pharmacist says his pharmacy has filled prescriptions for “pretty serious health problems” for members of Congress, including drugs for Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new interview published in STAT news.
The pharmacist, Grubb’s Pharmacy owner Mike Kim, made the disclosure as part of a larger story into a perk afforded to lawmakers: Drugs from a community pharmacy are delivered to the office of the Attending Physician, allowing members of Congress to avoid trips to the store.
“At first it’s cool, and then you realize, I’m filling some drugs that are for some pretty serious health problems as well. And these are the people that are running the country,” Kim told STAT. “It makes you kind of sit back and say, ‘Wow, they’re making the highest laws of the land and they might not even remember what happened yesterday.’”
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By Dan Desai Martin |
December 2, 2017
In a move that would make Scrooge blush, Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch insisted there is no money to help cancer-stricken children days before jamming through a tax scam that gives billions of dollars to the uber-wealthy.
At the beginning of the holiday season, Republicans showed Americans where their priorities lie: Giving aid and comfort to mega-rich donors and leaving sick children out in the cold.
Republicans, who control the House, Senate, and the White House, have refused to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). This program, which provides health care to nine million low-income children and pregnant women, expired on September 30th.
Instead, with the holidays fast approaching, Republicans focused on their top priority: raising taxes on the poor and middle class to give billions to the top one percent.
In the middle of a cold December night, Republicans rammed through a tax scam bill riddled with mark-ups written all over it that were literally illegible.
But when asked about reauthorizing CHIP just days before, Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch had the gall to claim, “We don’t have the money” to pay for it.
But let me tell you something. We’re going to do CHIP, there’s no question about it in my mind. It has to be done the right way. But we—the reason CHIP is having trouble is because we don’t have money anymore. We just add more and more spending and more and more spending, and you can look at the rest of the bill for the more and more spending.
According to the most generous accounting plausible, Hatch supported — and lied about — a tax scam bill that adds $1 trillion (that is 1,000 billion dollars) to the deficit. More realistic models put that number at $1.5 trillion.
CHIP needs $15 billion to operate, or literally one percent of the cost of the tax scam.
Republicans in Congress have no problem blowing a trillion-dollar hole in the deficit if the beneficiaries are the uber-wealthy.
But when it comes to finding money to ensure that cancer-stricken children have the health care they need, they turn their collective backs, claiming there is no money to be found.
In a season where those with means reflect on charity and helping those with less means, Republicans took the opposite tact: Help those with a lot, and leave those in need out in the cold.
In A Christmas Carol, Scrooge was eventually redeemed. Not so for the GOP.
Americans will remember the votes of Christmas past, and it may be Republican legislators who find themselves shunned.
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December 1, 2017
Posted with permission from AlterNet
The latest Republican tax bill is not just an unprecedented transfer of wealth from the bottom to the very top, but a fundamental restructuring of American society, from public education and health care to the separation of church and state. According to Quinnipiac, just 25 percent of the public approves of the legislation, yet it’s expected to pass as early as Friday.
Paul Krugman believes only a party as rotten to its core as the GOP would draft such a bill, much less sign it into law.
The Nobel Prize-winning economist has been railing against the proposal for weeks, and uses his latest column to remind readers just how disgraceful its rollout has been. When Republicans attempted to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) bleated about returning “regular order” to Congress. Apparently he’s had a chance of heart, because the Senate is set to vote without holding a single public hearing.
The Joint Committee on Taxation finds the GOP tax bill would do little to stimulate the economy and would add $1 trillion to the deficit over the next decade, but that hasn’t stopped Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin from insisting its cuts will pay for themself. What’s worse, he has repeatedly cited a Treasury report that simply doesn’t exist; the department hasn’t even been asked to study the legislation’s long-term ramifications.
“But aren’t politicians always cynical? Not to this degree,” Krugman writes. “This whole process involves a level of bad faith we haven’t seen in U.S. politics since the days when defenders of slavery physically assaulted their political foes on the Senate floor.”
If you think the GOP would have behaved any differently with Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz in the White House, think again. The Trump family may profit handsomely from the tax cuts being proposed, but the president’s entire party has proven itself desperate to appease the donor class. For Krugman, “the rot is wide as well as deep.”
“It was remarkable, for example, to see a group of Republican-leaning economists with serious professional credentials put out an open letter clearly intended to lend aid and comfort to Mnuchinesque promises of miraculous growth,” he continues. “True, they didn’t explicitly claim that tax cuts would pay for themselves. But they didn’t clearly state that they wouldn’t, either, leaving Mnuchin free to claim – as they have to have known he would – that the letter vindicated his position.”
Krugman argues there’s only one solution: sweep the entire party out of office. “Until or unless that happens,” he concludes, “there’s no telling how low the G.O.P. will sink.”
Read Paul Krugman’s column at the New York Times.
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