Big Pharma hustles healthcare, Working America strikes back
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Editor's note: this is a guest post by Cliff Schecter, author of the eponymous blog.
In a country where millions go without health insurance, while pharmeutical company executives sometimes have to struggle to pay for that fifth mortgage in Belize or scrape by to purchase that second corporate jet, thankfully we have Working America fighting the good fight.
Working America, the 1.5 million-member community affiliate of the AFL-CIO, provides a voice for those of us who have been denied the right to union membership on the job. Individuals are allowed to join this community, which is comprised of those of us who don't have stock options in Haliburton or stay up nights excited about the next day's bank merger.
So when they asked me to join their fight against Big Pharma, in the latter's attempt to make the cost of prescriptions unbearable for working Americans, I simply said where do I sign up?
Working America very simply provides its members, who are located everywhere from Ohio to Oregon, Missouri to Minnesota, essential information on "good jobs, a just economy, affordable health care, quality education, retirement security and globalization." And interestly enough, the majority of Working America members identify themselves as politically moderate or conservative, as one-third are "born again" Christians and one-third own guns. Sorry to disappoint, Mr. Limbaugh.
So it is a good day for all of us that such an accomplished organization has decided the time has come to make their voice heard on the ever-burgeoning health care crisis in this country. More specifically, through their Health Care Hustlers Campaign, Working America allowed we the people to get involved, by going to their site and sharing our health care horror stories and just as importantly, which greedy industry and/or company was to blame.
The votes were counted, and unlike some in our political system, we didn't try and purge even one. The consensus winner, once the tally was completed, was Big Pharma. You may know them as the quality folks responsible for driving up the price of prescriptions throughout the 50 states with their lobbyist-bought ban on allowing the government to negotiate lower prices for Medicare recipients. Or perhaps for the longtime U.S. ban on allowing Americans to import their prescription drugs from Canada, where they often are half the price of what they cost here.