I’m among those liberals who are in part still trying to figure out how Trump won the 2016 election. Part of it was that low information, desperate voters who (with some cause) felt that both political parties had abandoned them bought his populist line. They were deceived as Trump proved twice in recent days. Let’s explore.
During the campaign Trump repeatedly railed against the high cost of prescription drugs. He stated that he thought it was ridiculous that Medicare was prohibited from negotiating prices with the pharmaceutical industry, a view which is widely held by the American population.
Friday, after well over a year in office Trump unveiled his big plan during a Rose Garden appearance with his Health and Human Service Secretary Alex Azar who is the former President of an Eli Lily and Company affiliate. (I wonder where his allegiances lie – no I don’t!) Trump’s statement was: “The drug lobby is making an absolute fortune at the expense of American consumers. Previous leaders turned a blind eye to this incredible abuse. But this administration we are putting American patients first.”
The “plan”, if you are being kind enough to call it that, does nothing to enhance the possibility of lower cost drugs, does not have Medicare negotiating with the drug companies and leaves the pharmacy-benefit manager system (which is perhaps the leading escalator of costs) unchanged. What it does do is attempt to raise the cost of American drugs to foreign countries. I’m certain that will be popular with Bubba, however it will be difficult to implement and minimally impactful. What it did accomplish is to leave the lobbying door open and with it another opportunity for the organized criminal enterprise masquerading as an administration to profit.
If you want another opinion may I offer the fact that drug stocks rose on the news. Bottom line: Trump lied and Bubba got the short end of the stick again.
In addition to lowering the cost of living for the average American candidate Trump promised to quickly bring American jobs back from overseas and protect the ones we still had.
A few weeks ago the Trump administration started to implement restrictions on US firms prohibiting them from selling microchips and other parts to Chinese phone company ZTE. Sunday Trump tweeted, “President Xi, of China, and I, are working together to give massive Chinese phone company, ZTE, a way to get back into business fast. Too many jobs in China lost. Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done!”
California Democratic Representative Adam Schiff perhaps did the best job of putting this situation in perspective with the following tweet, “Our intelligence agencies have warned the ZTE’s technology and phones pose a major cyber security threat. You [Trump] should care more about our national security than Chinese jobs.”
Schiff is missing the point. Shortly after Trump’s election China green lighted a bunch of his family’s projects enabling him to make money. That is much more important to Trump than either national security or American jobs.
If you want to understand why Trump does things simply follow the old adage: Follow the money. In this case follow Trump’s money. Trump is not working for the American people and never has; he is working for himself.
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