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Bullying executives won't result in lower prescription drug costs

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  • Congress should adopt reforms.
  • Congress needs to allow Medicare to negotiate prices, among other steps. 
  • Related: It’s Way Past Time We Stopped Deluding Ourselves About Private Health Insurers

From an editorial in the New York (NY) Times / Minneapolis (MN) StarTribune 

https://d2omw6a1nm6pnh.cloudfront.net/images/stop-big-pharma-180.jpg September 22, 2016 | A congressional hearing on Wednesday about the outlandish price increases of the EpiPen followed a pattern that has become all too familiar in recent years. A drug price soars for no reason; lawmakers call a hearing to scold a pharmaceutical executive; the executive pleads innocence and provides as little information as possible. The drama plays out with no effect on the price.

So it seemed to go with the hearing on the EpiPen, which is used by people suffering a severe allergic reaction to inject epinephrine, a lifesaving drug. Mylan, the maker of the device, raised the price to more than $600 for a pack of two in May, up from about $100 in 2007, when the company acquired the product from Merck KGaA. The increase caused a public uproar this summer. Members of Congress called for hearings and attorneys general in New York state and West Virginia have said they were investigating Mylan for antitrust violations.

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It’s Way Past Time We Stopped Deluding Ourselves About Private Health Insurers, Wendell Potter, Huffington Post 

  • http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Your%20Health%20Insurance%20Company.jpg  Your Healthcare Provider
  • Folks, we are guilty of magical thinking. We’ve fallen for insurers’ deception and misdirection, hook, line and sinker. And, to the financial benefit of the industry’s executives and institutional investors, many of us can’t be persuaded that we are being duped. Meanwhile, the shareholders of the big for-profits are laughing all the way to the bank. Every single day.
  • Related: Health Care Inequality On The Rise

 

Call out the corruption

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The TPP is so corrupt it’s a stretch to even call it a trade deal.

Evan, Fight For the Future

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http://peoplesworld.org/assets/Uploads/stopp-tppa.jpg  September 4, 2016 | Hi,

I’m calling it. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is the most corrupt trade deal in history.

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Take%20Action%20Today%20button.jpg Do you agree? Join me in calling out the TPP 

Politicians have gotten away with serving special interests in this massive trade deal for too long. But if we expose TPP for what it is, we can stop these kinds of deals and never let another corrupt trade deal like this happen again.

The TPP is so corrupt it’s a stretch to even call it a trade deal.

Only 5 of its 29 chapters deal with trade issues, things like tariffs and quotas. The rest is about delivering on the wish lists of multinational corporations.

Pharmaceutical monopolies would be protected.[1] Environmental protections would be slashed.[2] SOPA-like censorship would threaten free expression on the Internet.[3] Good-paying jobs would be sent overseas.[4]

And then there’s the international shadow court that would be set up to force TPP countries to pay multinational corporations when they pass laws or regulations that may limit corporate profits.[5]

This wouldn’t only screw over taxpayers, it would also hurt small and medium-sized companies by making it harder for them to compete with the multinationals that would get this special benefit.

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Take%20Action%20Today%20button.jpg We need to expose the corruption in the TPP or it will soon become law. Click here to call out the TPP. And after you sign, make sure you share the page with your friends.

Just last week President Obama notified Congress that he would be sending them the final version of the TPP shortly.[6] And all reports indicate that he plans to do everything in his power to make sure it passes by then end of the year.

The White House and the lobbyists behind the TPP are desperate to get this finished before the public fully understands how dangerous and corrupt it is.

With everyone’s attention on the elections, they are working behind the scenes to set this up for quick passage. That’s why it’s so important that we get loud and call out the TPP for corruption now.

The TPP is the biggest trade deal ever. Its special-interest giveaways run more than 5,000 pages, and it would affect over 40% of the global economy. We need to sound the alarm right now before it’s too late…

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Take%20Action%20Today%20button.jpgJoin us to fight the TPP, the most corrupt trade deal in history.

 

Thank you,

-Evan at Fight for the Future

[1] http://www.msfaccess.org/spotlight-on/trans-pacific-partnership-agreement

[2] http://www.sierraclub.org/trade/trans-pacific-partnership

[3] http://blog.wikimedia.org/2016/02/03/tpp-problematic-partnership/

[4] http://www.citizenstrade.org/ctc/blog/2015/11/07/how-the-tpp-harms-jobs-the-environment/

[5] https://www.policyalternatives.ca/sites/default/files/uploads/publications/National Office/2016/06/Foreign_Investor_Protections_TPP.pdf

[6] http://www.politico.com/story/2016/08/obama-congress-trade-warning-226952

Fight For the Future works to protect your rights in the digital age.

It’s Way Past Time We Stopped Deluding Ourselves About Private Health Insurers

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Health%20%26%20Wellness%20Banner.jpg

  • Folks, we are guilty of magical thinking. We’ve fallen for insurers’ deception and misdirection, hook, line and sinker. And, to the financial benefit of the industry’s executives and institutional investors, many of us can’t be persuaded that we are being duped. Meanwhile, the shareholders of the big for-profits are laughing all the way to the bank. Every single day.
  • Related: Health Care Inequality On The Rise

Wendell Potter, Huffington Post

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JWBlinn via Getty Images

Aug 03, 2016 | I didn’t think it was possible for me to get more disgusted with the industry I used to be a cheerleader for, but I was wrong.

Health insurers—more specifically, the big for-profit health insurers that want to get even bigger through two pending mega-mergers (Anthem wants to buy Cigna and Aetna wants to buy Humana)—once again are demonstrating that nothing—absolutely nothing—is more important to them than making their rich shareholders even richer.

If that means making it more difficult for low- and middle-income Americans to get the medical care they need, so be it. “Too bad, so sad,” to use a phrase one of my former colleagues used to say when people complained about the way health insurers routinely screw their customers.

Wendell Potter: Author of Nation on the Take, How Big Money Corrupts Our Democracy and What We Can Do About It

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What does it take?

 

In earnest,

Dave & the Crew


Health Care Inequality On The Rise, Steffie Woolhandler & David Himmelstein, Huffington Post

  • The growing inequality in health care use in America is reflected in worsening outcomes for those with lesser incomes. While the health gap between rich and poor Canadians has been closing, ours has been widening. Today, the wealthiest American men live 15 years longer than their poor counterparts.
  • Related: 2000+ Doctors Declare: "It's Time for Single Payer to be Back on the Table"

 

Progressive Clinton Supporters: You Broke It, You Bought It

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Progressives who supported Clinton in the primary should use their leverage to ensure Clinton makes good on her vow to stop TPP and keep other promises she made on the campaign trail to win progressive votes. Bernie supporters will have your back, but it's up to you to lead on this one. It's serious -and - it can't wait until after the inauguration. From the perspective of progressives who supported Bernie in the primary, this election is a shotgun wedding.

Becky Bond, The Hill / Portside

http://peoplesworld.org/assets/Uploads/stopp-tppa.jpg August 18, 2016 With Donald Trump tanking in the polls, there's room for progressives to simultaneously crush his bid for the presidency while holding Hillary Clinton's feet to the fire on the TPP.

She's now appointed two pro-TPP politicians to key positions on her campaign - Tim Kaine as her Vice President and Ken Salazar to lead her presidential transition team. It's time for progressives who helped Clinton beat Bernie Sanders in the primary to take the lead on holding her accountable.

Progressives who supported Clinton in the primary should use their leverage to ensure Clinton makes good on her vow to stop TPP and keep other promises she made on the campaign trail to win progressive votes. Bernie supporters will have your back, but it's up to you to lead on this one.

Becky Bond, contributor, The Hill

Full story ... 

 

Related:

$%@*! this deal!, Paul, Emma, Anne and the team at SumOfUs.org 

  • https://sumofus-production-media.s3.amazonaws.com/a/img/0910fe1e-bad0-4777-95ee-1d0770be0318.jpg Whose interests is Obama looking out for with these deals?
  • There is plenty of information available on TPP -- a genuine disaster in the making.  Please contact your members of Congress, regardless of who owns them, and tell them TPP is intolerable.
  • Special Report | Stop the TPP, Week Ending February 13, 2016
  •  

 

Old music is outselling new music for the first time in history.

So much for the Adele effect. This past year, catalogue albums outsold the current ones by 4.3 million copies.

Adam Pugsley, Chart Attack

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http://www.chartattack.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/old-music.jpg Jan 20, 2016 | Despite the massive success of Adele's album 25, which sold a whopping 7.4 million copies in only six weeks, 2015 marked the first time in U.S. history that new releases were outsold by catalogue albums. Seems like everyone's been feeling extra nostalgic lately.

The term "catalogue" refers to albums released more than 18 months ago. According to Nielsen's annual year end music report, catalogue albums outsold current releases by 4.3 million copies, something never before seen in the industry. Just 10 years ago, current music sales outpaced catalogue music by over 150 million albums. Keep in mind that these stats don't include album streams, but regardless, it's a significant turning point.

Adam Pugsley (is) an apiring Dj Host, who produces trance, dubstep and trance music. I have been hosting a personal radio show online through my website www.djpugz.com. My alias Dj Pugz, is on soundcloud, mixcloud and iTunes too with monthly mixes of the latest in EDM music.

Full story … 

The Staggering, Semi-Secret, $70 Billion Annual U.S. Global Arms Business

http://images.dailykos.com/images/109287/large/Non_violence_sculpture_by_carl_fredrik_reutersward_malmo_sweden.jpg?1412476215

  • The United States continues to hold onto the number one role in the global arms trade, the White House does its part, the Pentagon greases the wheels, and the dollars roll in to profit-hungry U.S. weapons contractors.
  • Welcome to "Weapons R Us."
  • Related: Obama’s Wars and the Liberals Who Love Them

William Hartung, TomDispatch / AlterNet

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http://www.alternet.org/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/shutterstock_170423123-edited.jpgAmmunition and American flag on US Constitution - History of the Second Amendment Photo Credit: larry1235 

July 26, 2016 | When American firms dominate a global market worth more than $70 billion a year, you’d expect to hear about it.  Not so with the global arms trade.  It’s good for one or two stories a year in the mainstream media, usually when the annual statistics on the state of the business come out.

It’s not that no one writes about aspects of the arms trade. There are occasional pieces that, for example, take note of the impact of U.S. weapons transfers, including cluster bombs, to Saudi Arabia, or of the disastrousdispensation of weaponry to U.S. allies in Syria, or of foreign sales of the costly, controversial F-35 combat aircraft.  And once in a while, if a foreign leader meets with the president, U.S. arms sales to his or her country might generate an article or two. But the sheer size of the American arms trade, the politics that drive it, the companies that profit from it, and its devastating global impacts are rarely discussed, much less analyzed in any depth.

William Hartung is director, Arms and Security Project, Center for International Policy.

Full story … 

 

Related:

Obama’s Wars and the Liberals Who Love Them, Adam Marletta, West End News 

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  • “The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil,” Albert Einstein wrote, “but because of those who look on and do nothing.”
  • Uri Avnery | Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Bomb?

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