PEG 6th Congressional District Newsletter 337
The Biden Presidency:
Controlling the Spiraling Cost of Life-Saving Drugs
President Biden is making price controls for Medicare drugs a cornerstone of his 2024 campaign. As he explains, “for many Americans, the cost of one drug is the difference between life and death, dignity and dependence, hope and fear.”
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services chose these ten highly profitable drugs for price control as they are used by millions of senior citizens and cost Medicare $50 billion in the last fiscal year. They include the blood thinner Eliquis and the diabetes medication Jardiance, and account for a huge percentage of government spending as well as reap huge profit for their drug companies.
Biden’s effort is historic. No other president has attempted to limit the profit margin of the pharmaceutical industry. His program faces Republican opposition as well as lawsuits from the drugs’ manufacturers.
The new prices will be announced on September 1, 2024 and will go into effect on January 1, 2026.
Meanwhile in Michigan:
Senators have introduced 3 bills to address prescription costs
Prescription costs are too high. No one should not have to choose between prescriptions and basic needs. Michigan’s Senate members have introduced three bills to try and alleviate this hardship: Senate bills 483, 484 and 485.
Senate Bill 483 (S-1) would establish the Prescription Drug Affordability Board and Prescription Drug Affordability Council, which would work together to investigate costs of certain drugs and, if those costs are found to be prohibitive, establish upper payment limits on those drugs.
Senate Bill 484 would amend the Insurance Code to require an insurer that offered health insurance policies in the State to comply with upper payment limits established under Senate Bill 483.
Senate Bill 485 would amend the Social Welfare Act to require the Medical Assistance Program (Medicaid) to comply with upper payment limits established under Senate Bill 483
If your Senator is does not already support these bills, please call them and ask them to support SB 483, SB 484 and SB 485
Senator____________________, I am urging you to support SB 483, SB 484 and SB 485. Prescription costs are too high in Michigan. No one should have to choose between food and housing versus their life-saving prescriptions, and implementing these bills would go a long way towards eradicating that choice. Please help your constituents stay healthy and make ends meet!
The following Senators have been identified as at-risk (less likely to support the bills):
Jon Bumstead. (517) 373-1635
John Damoose (517) 373-2413
Ruth Johnson (517) 373-1636
Jim Runestad. (517) 373-1758
A Major Supreme Court Ruling in Support of the Voting Rights Act!
A Change.org petition is requesting that the Michigan Department of Transportation halt a proposed project to build a six to eight foot tall steel fence along the railroad on West Huron River Drive in Ann Arbor. The State of Michigan has bought much of the east-west railroad line across Southern Michigan. It connects Detroit and Chicago and is managed by the state Department of Transportation and by Amtrak. The goal is faster trains. In 2020, MDoT received a federal grant to improve safety.
The letter to the Michigan Department of Transportation points out a number of negative impacts on the community.
- Disrupting wildlife habitat
- Using state funds to benefit private companies
- Limiting access to the Huron River
- Decreasing safety
- Detracting from the natural beauty of the area
- Blocking bike and walking trails
The petition requests that the project be discussed more before it is implemented and it requests overpasses for wildlife and people to minimize disruption.
Please click on the website and sign the petition.
Events and Opportunities
Jews United for Democracy and Justice
- Wednesday, October 11 at 5 pm, US Congress Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi in conversation with Patt Morrison: “America’s Challenges” (Register Here)
- Wednesday, October 18 at 5 pm, NY Times’ Adam Nagourney in conversation with Patt Morrison: “The New York Times & the Transformation of Journalism in the Digital Age.” (Register Here)
Serve on a Board or Commission for Michigan
Our state government is listening! Be heard in a major way by applying for one of the 100 open appointments on various committees and boards. Search the online portal by interest area here.
More things to do, read, watch, and listen to
Get out the VOTE with Next Gen
In Pennsylvania, a Supreme Court seat is up for grabs and abortion is a key issue. With one candidate set on protecting reproductive rights and the other against, this election could have a lasting impact on the state for years to come.
In Virginia, every seat in the General Assembly is up for election this November. This is a chance to flip the Republican majority state House and both protect and add to the Democratic majority in the state Senate.
Starting on October 9, Next Gen will be calling voters in Virginia and on October 10, we’ll begin our texts into Pennsylvania!
- Call Young Voters in PA and VA to GOT! – sign up here!
- Text Out the Vote in Pennsylvania and Virginia – sign up here!
- GOTV with the Social Team – sign up here!
How a Little-Known Group Helped Resurgent Democrats Wield Power: The States Project
For many years, Republicans have been more effective and financially invested in state legislatures than Democrats, marginalizing the latter in politically competitive areas. Republican state lawmakers have leveraged this advantage to enact numerous conservative policies, often with the help of conservative think tanks like the Heritage Foundation and the American Legislative Exchange Council, which drafted model legislation on tax cuts, gun rights expansion, and environmental regulation relaxation. The States Project was created to level the playing field for Democrats.
The States Project, established in 2017, has become influential in advancing liberal causes. In the past year, they made a significant financial contribution of $60 million to state legislative elections in Arizona, Michigan, Maine, Nevada, and Pennsylvania. Democrats finally realized that, due to federal congressional gridlock, crucial battles concerning issues like abortion access, gun control, and voting rights are taking place at the state level. Therefore, some liberal groups have redirected their efforts toward state legislative races. The States Project exclusively concentrates on these contests. Read more here and on The States Project website.
A special thanks to our Newsletter contributors:
Lisa Kamil, Bette Cotzin, Bernie Banet, Linda Bennett, Kayla Conrad, Ellen Halter, Leslie McGraw, Leslie Kamil, Molly Boren and Brynn Mendelsohn, and Chuck Newman for their contributions and help preparing our newsletters. Special shout out to Joy of Framing of Washtenaw County for their analysis of one person/one vote initiatives.
PEG Cartoon of the Week
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