Last night, the US Senate defeated an amendment that would have allowed for the legal importation of prescription drugs from Canada. It failed, 52-46. Senator Jeff Sessions did not vote, but Senator Richard Shelby, voted NO – in effect helping to pump up drug company profits at the expense of American consumers.
That’s no surprise: the Big Dick is a big friend to Big Business, but some of GOP senators stood up to Big Pharma. Republican “yes” votes included John McCain, Ted Cruz, John Thune, Mike Lee, Chuck Grassley, and Jeff Flake.
With those dozen GOP “yes” votes, the amendment should have passed easily. But it didn’t. Here’s the real shanda: 12 Democrats voted NO.
- Michael Bennett (D-CO)
- Cory Booker (D-NJ)
- Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
- Ben Cardin (D-DE)
- Carper (D-DE) — updated – left him off the list earlier!
- Chris Coons (D-MD)
- Joe Donnelly (D-IN)
- Martin Heinrich (D-NM)
- Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)
- Bob Menendez (D-NJ)
- Patty Murray (D-WA)
- Jon Tester (D-MT)
- Mark Warner (D-VA)
Ironically, Senator Menendez tsk-tsked on Twitter last night about Republicans voting to “take away health care.”
It’s official, Senate Republicans have taken the first step to take away your healthcare without a replacement. Shameful.
— Senator Bob Menendez (@SenatorMenendez) January 12, 2017
If people are “losing healthcare” or their health insurance, lower prescription drug prices would be a cool thing, wouldn’t it?
But money talks, and corporate Democrats like that corporate money. Pharmaceutical campaign cash is flowing at quite the rate to some of the Democrats:
- Cory Booker: 8th largest contributing industry
- Chris Coons: 5th largest contributing industry
- Bob Menendez: 11th largest contributing industry
- Martin Heinrich: 10th largest contributing industry
- Patty Murray: 3rd largest contributing industry
- Joe Donnelly: 5th largest contributing industry
- Michael Bennett: 12 largest contributing industry
If Democrats want to get back in power, they need to return to their roots and support ordinary Americans instead of big business. They fumbled a big, bi-partisan first step last night, and it was totally a self-inflicted wound.