Congress' Corrupt-Money Mambo

Like the interminable dance marathons of the 1930's, the band keeps playing on and on and on.

This band is composed of the giant drug-makers that want to keep gouging American seniors on drug prices, and the dance is the same old corrupt-money mambo between industry lobbyists and our congress critters, who take the industry's money to keep the dance going.

At issue is a fight in the U.S. house on a Bush-backed, industry-written prescription drug bill that would provide limited drug coverage to some seniors, but also would require us taxpayers to provide billions of dollars to subsidize the unlimited rip-off prices that the corporations want to keep charging for these medicines. It's a sham bill to protect the excess profits of the pharmaceutical industry, rather than to meet the critical health needs of seniors. The Democrats' bill is better, covering all seniors, but it, too, fails to control the corporate price-gouging, soaking taxpayers to enrich the avaricious companies.

Why won't either party simply say no to the gougers? Money, of course.

The very week that the republican bill was being voted on in the house, George W. Bush headlined a G.O.P. gala in Washington to raise more than $30 million from lobbyists, CEOs, and other fat cats to help elect more Republicans to congress. The head corporate fundraiser for George's Gala was the top executive of GlaxoSmithKline, a London-based drug giant that will reap a windfall from Bush's bill. Eli Lilly was there to get its dance card punched, too, as was Blue Cross, Pfizer, and other global drug profiteers.

But the G.O.P. is not the only dance in town. Drug companies say that they're delighted to donate to Democrats, too. Whatever it takes to keep the dance going ... even though seniors are on the side, almost certain that this Congress will pass no bill to help them.

This is Jim Hightower saying ... To stop this maddening dance, call USAction: 202-624-1730.

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