Arizona Republic columnist Laurie Roberts on Thursday wrote a scathing column attacking Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) for tanking key parts of President Joe Biden's "Build Back Better" agenda.
In particular, Roberts took Sinema to task for killing a plan that would have allowed Medicare to negotiate the price of prescription drugs for recipients.
"Shame on her for that," wrote Roberts, who noted that the measure was "wildly popular."
Roberts then detailed why allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices is such a vitally important policy that could help tens of millions of Americans.
"The idea of unleashing the bargaining power of Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices seems like a no brainer," she wrote. Yet Republicans and a few moderate Democrats are against it, buying the pharmaceutical companies' rationale that barring them from gouging sick Americans would stifle the development of new life-saving drugs. Pharmaceutical companies get away with charging Americans close to three times what they charge, on average, in other countries, according to a 2021 analysis by the Rand Corporation."
Roberts then cited polling data showing the proposal highly popular with Arizona voters while she also noted that even Sen. Joe Manchin said he was on board with the plan.
Roberts concluded by pointing to the massive donations that Sinema has received from the pharmaceutical industry as the likely reason for being so determined to kill price negotiations.
"She snagged $120,000 from pharmaceutical companies during the 2019-2020 campaign cycle, according to Kaiser Family Foundation's pharma contribution tracker," she writes. That's double what she collected when she was actually running for the Senate. And now, in a strange twist of coincidence, the wildly popular plan to allow Medicare to bargain for a better deal on prescription drugs is going ... going ... gone."
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