PEG 6th Congressional District Newsletter 341
OMG! What did the new Speaker of the House just say?
Courtesy of the new Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson, this appears to be Handmaid’s Tale Revisited! As reported by Politico, Johnson has cosponsored at least three bills that would ban abortion nationwide. In a video clip from a House Judiciary Committee meeting earlier this year, Johnson argued that “if only women were compelled to bring more ‘able-bodied workers’ into the world, Republicans wouldn’t need to slash Social Security and Medicare.”
Moms for What??
Don’t be confused! Moms Demand Action is a wonderful organization whose mission is to end gun violence. Moms for Liberty is a far-right extremist organization that, according to Wikipedia, “advocates against school curricula that mention LGBTQIA+ rights, race and ethnicity, critical race theory, and discrimination.” JTA reports that the first Moms For Liberty group to successfully ban Anne Frank appeared on an antisemitic livestream called TruNews. Florida Moms For Liberty organizer Jennifer Pippen appeared on the livestream despite the fact that it has been banned from YouTube because of its host’s antisemitism, which she later learned. When asked if she was sorry for appearing on the TruNews, Pippen responded, “Absolutely not. No.”
New! Michigan Cancer Drug Donation Program
Michigan pharmacists have responded to the shortage of life-saving cancer drugs by creating a new statewide program to help patients who are unable to afford or access them. How does it work? YesRx repository has established a network of pharmacists who can accept cancer drug donations from individuals, pharmacies, manufacturers, and distributors, then re-prescribe them to cancer patients who need the same dosage.
People can donate unneeded cancer drugs or supplies so that they can be repurposed. It marks a dramatic break from past practice, when expensive drugs were typically — and often needlessly — destroyed, flushed down toilets, or dumped in landfills.
Under the state law that enabled the repository, priority is given to patients without insurance, followed by those who are insured by Medicare and Medicaid, and finally those who are covered by commercial insurance,Racial Health inequities. One in three Black survivors (36 percent) reported at least one “social need” during treatment, such as food insecurity, housing instability, lack of transportation, or utility shut-offs, according to a 2021 study published by the American Cancer Society. Among Black survivors, younger adults face the steepest hardship, researchers concluded in a 2022 study published by the peer-reviewed journal Cancer. Michigan joins about a dozen other states running statewide repositories, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Once accepted, the drugs are keyed into a database, accessible to doctors and pharmacists around the state who can send them to patients. A patient would pay no more than a $5 handling fee for using the repository, under state law.
Why the rise in shortages? The number of active drug shortages in the U.S. reached a peak of 295 at the end of 2022. However, drug shortages are not a new problem. They are caused by a number of factors, including economic drivers, insufficient supply chain visibility, and a continued U.S. overreliance on both foreign and geographically concentrated sources for medications and their raw materials. These shortages have cascading effects on patient care, causing delays in treatment, increasing the risk of medication errors, and requiring the use of less effective alternative treatments. Hospitals have also experienced increased costs, medication waste, and limited staffing capacity to address and remedy shortages.
Congress, the Executive Branch, and industry must work together to respond to this decades-long problem. Supply chain visibility would help proactively identify risks, invest in quality systems, and advance manufacturing technologies. Ensuring supplier diversification through strategic onshoring would bolster the availability of critical generic drugs that are regularly used by healthcare providers throughout the country.
Events and Opportunities
Now through Tuesday, November 7. Final Push to GOTV in Virginia and Pennsylvania
SIGN UP HERE to contact young voters with Nextgen. The final days leading up to an election are so important! We’ll have multiple shifts a day, so choose what works best for you and we’ll see you then!
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 on erasing them, 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 Virginia House and both protect and add to the Democratic majority in the Virginia Senate.
Wednesdays in November. America at a Crossroads Virtual Series
- Wednesday, November 8. “Strongmen and Autocrats Today: Proliferating or Declining?” American historian and cultural critic Ruth Ben Ghiat, with Larry Diamond. (Register here) 8 pm ET
- Wednesday, November 15. “How to Know a Person: A Heartfelt Examination of Human Connections.” Moderate conservative political and cultural commentator David Brooks, with Madeleine Brand. (Register Here) 8 pm ET
- Wednesday, November 29. “Collision of Power: Trump, Bezos, and The Washington Post.” Martin Baron recounts the struggle over power, money, media, and tech, with Patt Morrison. (Register Here) 8 pm ET
Monday, November 6. Election Hero Day
If you have ever been an election volunteer or staffer, we applaud your efforts! If you would like to help on election day in future elections, reply to this email and we can send you information on ways to get trained and ready to help!!!
Tuesday, November 7. VOTE in General Elections
Whether it’s a proposal to increase taxes or voting in new municipal leaders who could have the authority to ban books, ALL ELECTIONS impact our every day lives. Haven’t mailed your ballotin yet? It’s too late to risk mailing it at this point, but there are drop by locations all over (thanks to voters like you!). Check Washtenaw County elections here.
More things to do, read, watch, and listen to
Communities Fight Back Against HATE and EXTREMISM
The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Fall 2023 newsletter highlights organizations that are working to counter the rise of Christian nationalism, an extremist ideology steeped in white supremacy and militant anti-government animus.
Amanda Tyler, who sees Christian nationalism as a horrifying distortion of her beliefs, launched a grassroots effort called Christians Against Christian Nationalism (CACN) in 2019 under the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, a national advocacy group she runs focused on religious freedom. Tyler’s
goal is to grow the grassroots network to help other Christian organizations learn to notice the signs of Christian nationalism “in order not to be complicit with its spread,” and to help educate their communities to spot the ideology and learn language to denounce and dismantle it.
To date, more than 27,000 Christians of different denominations and political philosophies have signed CACN’s statement of principles, rejecting the concept of Christian nationalism. The principles include assertions like “one’s religious affiliation, or lack thereof, should be irrelevant to one’s standing in the civic community” and “government should not prefer one religion over another or religion over nonreligion.” “Many of our signers believe that pushing against Christian nationalism is essential not just for our democracy but also for the preservation of our faith.”
Paul Miller’s 2021 article in Christianity Today explains Christian nationalism, patriotism, and nationalism. It delves into what Christian nationalists want that is different from typical Christian engagement in politics, and outlines the problems with Christian nationalism and its danger to our democracy.
These groups fighting against hate and extremism see Christian nationalism as an immediate threat to our democracy. Miller states that when nationalists go about constructing their nation, they have to define who is, and who is not, part of the nation. Scholars are almost unanimous that nationalist governments tend to become authoritarian and oppressive in practice.
Some Americans Are Being Denied Coverage of Vaccines
Is this a “new reality”: coronavirus vaccines a commercial product instead of a public good?
While vaccines are promoted as being available at no charge to all, some Americans have encountered a different reality as they tried to get vaccinated, only to be denied coverage or charged up to $200. Complications include: pharmacies being out of network, vaccines not showing up on lists of approved medical expenses, and needing prior authorization. While some have paid out of pocket to avoid waiting, others say they weren’t even given that option. Because the federal government is no longer buying and distributing all the shots, Americans must deal with insurance companies and a for-profit health-care system.
Federal officials and health experts said that some of these insurance problems appear to be a result of insurance systems that have yet to be updated and that billing code errors should be resolved in the coming weeks. About vaccine availability and the cancellations of appointments to get vaccinated, administration officials said that manufacturers and distributors are working to resolve logistical issues that have caused some delays, and that there is no vaccine shortage. But Americans can no longer expect to get a vaccine dose wherever they want because insurers are not required to pay for vaccines administered at out-of-network pharmacies and locations.
Coronavirus: What you need to know
- New coronavirus booster: The CDC recommends that anyone 6 months or older get an updated coronavirus shot this fall.
- Coronavirus variants: Scientists are concerned about the new BA. 2.86 coronavirus variant, a highly mutated form of the coronavirus that threatens to be the most adept yet at slipping past the body’s immune defenses. EG. 5, a new coronavirus subvariant, unofficially nicknamed “Eris,” is becoming a dominant strain in countries including the United States and Britain.
- Rising covid-19 hospitalizations: The United States is experiencing a bump in coronavirus transmission for the first time since the public health emergency ended in May.
DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.