My opponent, the current Republican incumbent in North Carolina’s 8th District, got on Twitter yesterday to crow about his work to “lower prescription drug prices” for his constituents here in the 8th District, linking up a little clip of him boldly proclaiming such on the House floor recently. We all can certainly agree with him that “#drugprices are too high.” Surely his words seem innocuous enough on the surface, I mean, raise your hand if you want to save Grandma (or heck, yourself) some much needed cash at the pharmacy? Who likes “improving transparency?” And can I get a chorus of “boos” for “threaten[ing] innovation?”
Don’t be fooled, y’all, it’s not like he really means any of this stuff about wanting to help the little folks on the ground. Once a lobbyist, always a lobbyist. If he was seriously concerned about finding the cracks in the system where y’all, YOU, HIS CONSTITUENTS are falling through, wouldn’t he actually bother to hold some town halls in some of these little towns across this district to listen to your real everyday concerns? The point is, this man was elected in 2012 and it’s 2019 and in all this time, he’s only ever managed to stage a couple of scripted dog & pony shows with some hand-picked insiders they gave slick-sounding titles to like “job creator” on their “Hello My Name Is” stickers.
He ain’t listening to the diabetic who just lost their job at Cap Yarns in Oakboro to the Trump Tariffs and they’re wondering if they can ration their insulin enough to still keep their rent paid this week. I still don’t think my opponent has even noticed that a town of 2,000 people lost an employer who provided 129 jobs in that community- or that this loss was a direct casualty of these boneheaded tariffs.
One of the key phrases you are going to be hearing from this campaign we are building here in the 8th district, is that Insulin should not cost more than rent. It is a moral obscenity of the gravest consequence that a medicine so vital as insulin, whose very inventor gave up his patent for a dollar because he believed so ardently in the public health necessity of keeping his discovery affordable for all who need it, is being profiteered off of right now. You can certainly say the same for epi-pens and a whole host of other directly life-saving drugs. Repeat: this is a moral obscenity.
It sure is interesting to see my opponent grandstanding on this issue, suddenly, though. After all, earlier this year, he had an opportunity to vote to meaningfully lower prescription drug prices, but oh no, Mr. Hudson fell in line with his Republican cohorts and voted against that bill. Their complaint (and by extension, his too) was that the bill strengthened protections for patients too much. Apparently, the only people who deserve to have healthcare that doesn’t totally bankrupt them and everyone around them, are people who have lived perfectly lucky, mistake-free lives of health-conscious innocence- so I guess that’s about 5 people nationwide. The rest of us better hurry up and get well or hurry up and die before we run up a bill that’s more than our entire family combined could pay off in a lifetime.
My opponent doesn’t really want to lower prescription drug costs. He doesn’t care about lowering healthcare costs either, or he’d be looking at a lot more than just how to best punish people with pre-existing conditions for his solutions. This system is sick, it is cruel, it is inhumane, and most of all, it is grossly inefficient. To quote one very persistent lady we all admire here on Team Huffman, our healthcare system still requires Big Structural Change in order for us to truly achieve the vision of American excellence we all were taught to demand of ourselves and our institutions, growing up.
We need to get at the root of what’s driving the high costs of healthcare, and allowing wild price fluctuations and gross profiteering (a fancy word for price gouging!) of directly life-saving drugs, especially those that should be priced low as a public health good like insulin and epi pens, must end. And yes, the protections of Obamacare don’t need to be repealed or stifled, they need to be expanded! I won’t say that the ACA is some perfect law that never needs amending, that would be foolishly naïve about even the best-written laws, but those ACA protections have done a lot of good.
Right now, Obamacare is the reason we have 26-year-olds dying from insulin rationing instead of 18-year-olds. If Hudson had his way, and the ACA were repealed as he and his party have long wanted to do, we’d be seeing parents buying coffins instead of dorm supplies for their insulin-dependent diabetic children. All the same, we shouldn’t be seeing young adults in their 20’s dying from easily preventable deaths or going bankrupt to stay alive, either. Or at any age. This is a moral obscenity.
My opponent had his chance to support bipartisan healthcare reform to lower prescription drug prices by voting for the Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act in May of this year, and he blew it. Don’t fall for his weasel words now. Remember, once a lobbyist, always a lobbyist.
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