Medium: Here is how much money the senators who voted against gun reform received from the NRA
Rep Beto O'Rourke started livestreaming it on Facebook at 3 pm. View it here. Here is the video before the session ended and CSPAN cameras were blacked out.
Senate Bipartisan Gun Control Proposal Announced
CSPAN: "Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and eight other senators from both parties presented proposed compromise gun-control legislation the day after four gun-control amendments failed on the Senate floor. The bipartisan “Terrorist Firearms Prevention Act of 2016” would prevent people on the No Fly List or the Selectee List from purchasing firearms. Senator Collins said that she hoped the House would give her bipartisan proposal a vote. She reminded her House colleagues that a majority of Americans support such legislation."
Medium: Here is how much money the senators who voted against gun reform received from the NRA
In 1993, Representatives Bernie Sanders and John Boehner introduced a plan for the first-ever "Lincoln-Douglas Style" House floor debates.
Sanders was asked in an interview a month before the debate, "Another part of the equation over here... the Democratic leadership has been talking about what they are saying is an "Oxford Style" debate. What's your reaction to that?" Sanders replied, "I don't think it makes a damn bit of difference whatever it is."
Sanders continued, "The idea came from Mr. Boehner of Ohio, who is head of the Conservative Opportunities Council. And he came to me two weeks ago and he suggested it might be good for the country and good for the Congress if we had a real clash of ideas and a real debate on some of the most important issues facing this country. I thought it was a great idea. I went back to the members of the progressive caucus. They thought it was a great idea. We're ready to go.
I'm very frustrated, and I think most members of Congress are frustrated, about how little the American people really know as to what's going on in Congress, or, in fact, are knowledgeable about the most important issues facing this country. The corporate-owned mass media, in my view, does a horrendous job. We spend more time with violence and sensationalism and five second soundbites rather than honest debate about the terrible crises facing this country. This country is undergoing major economic decline. Our people are becoming poorer. We're one of two nations in the industrialized world without a nationalized healthcare system. We lead the industrialized world among poverty for our kids, etc, etc, etc. Where is the debate? How did this happen? Who owns America? We're not having that debate. So I think that having some people from the right and some of us who are progressives on the left really clash and talk about the future of America, talk about the problems facing this country, will give the American people the opportunity to hear serious debate.
The first debate as I understand it will be on the single payer healthcare system... believe that the Canadian single payer system is the most cost-effective way to provide comprehensive universal healthcare to all Americans."
The first debate was on healthcare. Physician Jim McDermott and Bernie Sanders represented the single payer point of view. See: Physicians in the United States Congress
Two years prior in 1991, Bernie Sanders held a hearing, "The Most Serious Problem Facing the US: Healthcare System Reforms." Representative Sam of Florida spoke of the private healthcare system in the United States:
"It's a historic accident. We have let it go on. It has brought disaster to our whole healthcare system. We have not only the most expensive healthcare system, we have the most clumsily administered system to work with."
Private Health Insurance Whistleblower Wendell Potter Described How the Insurance Industry Put Profits Before Patients
In June 2009, testimony in front of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation by a former health insurance insider named Wendell Potter made news even before it occurred: CBS NEWS headlined: "Cigna Whistleblower to Testify."
After Potter's testimony the industry scrambled to do damage control: "Insurers defend rescissions, take heat for lack of transparency."
With almost 20 years inside the health insurance industry, Wendell Potter saw for-profit insurers hijack our health care system and put profits before patients. Below, he spoke with Bill Moyers about how those companies are standing in the way of health care reform. He described why he left his successful career as the head of Public Relations for CIGNA, one of the nation's largest insurers, and decided to speak out against the industry. "I didn't intend to [speak out], until it became really clear to me that the industry is resorting to the same tactics they've used over the years, and particularly back in the early '90s, when they were leading the effort to kill the Clinton plan."
Opioid Crisis: Epidemic that Medicine Made
Just a few years ago, the combined pharmaceutical industry spent $435,000 per member of Congress lobbying for their views, let's just get this out there. $435,000. That's big money. Do we have the courage? Do we have the heart to do it?"
Red-Flagging and Rescission
Among the other testimony heard by the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation was that of Robin Beaton. It reflected some of the insurance company tactics condemned by Potter.
It was a nightmare scenario. The day before she was scheduled to undergo a double mastectomy for invasive breast cancer, Robin Beaton's health insurance company informed her that she was "red flagged" and they wouldn't pay for her surgery. The hospital wanted a $30,000 deposit before they would move forward. Beaton had no choice but to forgo the life-saving surgery.
Beaton had dutifully signed up for individual insurance when she retired from nursing to start a small business. She had never missed a payment, but that didn't matter. Blue Cross cited two earlier, unrelated conditions that she hadn't reported to them when signing up — acne and a fast beating heart — and rescinded her policy.
Beaton pleaded with the company and had her doctors write letters on her behalf to no avail. It was not until Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) personally called Blue Cross that her policy was reinstated and she could undergo surgery. In that year, Beaton's tumor doubled in size, leading to further complications necessitating the removal of her lymph glands as well.
The practice is called "rescission" and Beaton's is not an isolated case. The House Energy and Commerce Committee found that the major private health insurers had rescinded the policies of approximately 20,000 people in a five year period, to avoid paying out approximately $300 million in benefit claims.
Appearing before the same committee, CEOs of the major health insurance companies stated that they would continue to use rescission, arguing that it is a necessary protection against fraud and abuse.
Wendell Potter held a variety of positions at CIGNA Corporation over 15 years, serving most recently as head of corporate communications and as the company's chief corporate spokesman.
Prior to joining CIGNA, Potter headed communications at Humana Inc., another large for-profit health insurer and was director of public relations and advertising for The Baptist Health System of East Tennessee. He also has been a partner in an Atlanta public relations firm, a press secretary to a Democratic nominee for governor of Tennessee and a lobbyist in Washington for the organizers of the 1982 World's Fair in Knoxville, Tenn.
Wendell Potter is a native of Tennessee and a graduate of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville where he received a B.A. degree in communications and did postgraduate work in journalism and public relations. He holds an APR, which means he is accredited in public relations by the Public Relations Society of America, and is still a dues-paying member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the National Press Club in Washington.
Potter's latest book is titled Nation on the Take: How Big Money Corrupts Our Democracy and What We Can Do About It.
Potter Details How the Insurance Industry Attacked Michael Moore's healthcare documentary, 'SiCKO'
National Institute of Mental Health diddles while mental health infrastructure is gutted and and taxes are wasted. Former chair of the DSM task force, psychiatrist Allen Frances: "NIMH loves fancy basic science and couldn't care less about the clinical care received by our citizens. It is run by, and for, scientists with an indifference to the needs of the taxpayers who support its budget."
U.S. government refuses to fund research into the therapeutic potential of serotonin 2a receptor agonists psilocybin and ayahuasca, despite their promise in treating addiction, depression, and other difficult-to-treat mental disorders. More: Psilocybin's Potential Impact on Mental Health and Neuroscience Research
And even if they win, she will be paralyzed from what happens in this campaign." –Asher Edelman, Wall Street Alum, Reluctant Capitalist
Edelman continues, "So, in 1979, Bill Clinton was about to become governor of the state of Arkansas. Hillary Clinton did a genius thing. She became the greatest commodity trader on earth. She turned $1000 into $100,000 in one week trading commodities. Those trades were supervised by Tyson Foods and Tyson Foods happened to have been a very major producer of chicken in Arkansas.
This is like buying ice skates one day and entering the Olympics a day later. She took some extraordinary risks.
–Mark Powers, editor of the journal of Futures Markets, 'Hillary's Adventures in Cattle Futures Land,' Newsweek, April 1994
The most conservative finding is that the probability is 1 in 31 trillion.
–Seth Anderson, economist at the University of North Florida, Journal of Economics and Finance, September 1994
"And Bill became governor of Arkansas. And guess what? Tyson Foods was rapidly exempted from all of the environmental issues having to do with the chickens.
So those are a couple of things that I've noticed and think that it makes her really quite unfit to be President of the United States of America.
It would have been really good if the Democrats saw what's going to happen in this campaign.
Because part of what I've said to you today is that this campaign is going to be such a nightmare for Hillary and for both sides, and the country will be ripped apart by it. The Democrats should have and should turn to Bernie Sanders. They will certainly win with Bernie against Trump because Bernie will get those people from Trump who want to change. And they might very well lose with Hillary. And even if they win, she will be paralyzed from what happens in this campaign." (continued below)
"We are confronting a banking crisis in Europe which will impact our banks again, and there's not much insulation in those banks for another hit as they had in 2007, 2008.
If it were to happen after the election or if it were diverted until after the election, someone would need to step in and enforce the regulations that have been put in place and perhaps redivide the banks into banking and speculation as they were before Bill Clinton, Larry Summers, and Bob Rubin changed it and got Glass-Steagall revoked." (continued below)
Wall Street Titan: Sanders will help the real economy
Financial Times: Failing elites are to blame for unleashing Donald Trump
New York Times: Government Must Play a Role Again in Job Creation
Washington Post: Hillary's Legacy of Mismanagement Abroad
Asher Edelman: Sanders is Best for the Economy, No Question
It's a Win-Win Situation; Hillary Clinton’s Mega-Donors Are Also Funding Jeb Bush: "Racetrack owners, bankers, and chicken kings: Meet the ultra-rich bankrolling the Bush and Clinton dynasties."
Progressive vs Conservative Roots of Sanders, Clinton: Mental Health, Criminal Justice, Drugs, Foreign Policy
Hillary Clinton has embraced various conservative ideologies throughout her career: Goldwater conservatism, Nixon values, Reaganomics, neoconservatism, and neoliberalism
Unfortunately, these ideologies have been disastrous: Drug war designed to disproportionately imprison African Americans and dissidents, mass incarceration, neglect of the mentally ill, deregulation of Wall Street, neocon ideology of foreign interventionism and regime change, and pharmaceutical industry monopoly on mental health and pain care that gutted America's mental health infrastructure and and created our current prescription opioid, heroin, and hepatitis C epidemics.
In this video, Hillary 2008 fondly remembered the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy in June 1968, months before the Democratic National Convention.
The death of Bobby Kennedy ushered in the rise conservatism, America's disastrous war on drugs, and the end of significant progress in mental health research for half a century. Robert Kennedy defended classic hallucinogen research in the years before his death: "Why if they were worthwhile six months ago, why aren’t they worthwhile now?Why didn’t you just let them continue?… We keep going around and around… If I could get a flat answer about that I would be happy. Is there a misunderstanding about my question? I think we have given too much emphasis and so much attention to the fact that it can be dangerous and that it can hurt an individual who uses it… that perhaps to some extent we have lost sight of the fact that it can be very, very helpful in our society if used properly.”
Since the enactment of Nixon's Federal Controlled Substances Act that banned research of classic hallucinogens in humans, we have not seen any significant progress in the treatment or prevention of mental illness or substance abuse in America. Coincidentally, the United States recently reached a four-decade high in rates of suicide and alcohol related deaths. Classic hallucinogens were the most promising treatment for addiction when they were banned.
Despite a prescription opioid epidemic, conservative ideologues still do everything possible to obstruct harm reduction and adequate care for the victims of pharmaceutical company greed. One such ideologue is Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chair of the DNC and Hillary 2008 campaign co-chair.
On the left, Bernie Sanders urges the United States to address the root causes of crime in 1991: "Let's stop putting poor people in jail and disproportionately punishing blacks!" In the video to the right, Hillary Clinton defends her conservative roots in 1996: "And I feel like my political beliefs are rooted in the conservatism that I was raised with.... I'm very proud that I was a Goldwater Girl." What do Hillary Clinton's conservative roots mean for America?
It has also obstructed important research of cannabis and non-addictive hallucinogens, substances that appear to be effective against certain types of pain and anxiety.
Nixon's war on drugs received a shot in the arm with Ronald Reagan's 1984 Sentencing Reform Act, then conservatism ushered in an era of imprisoning the mentally ill via reduced funding for community mental health programs. Unfortunately, mental health and substance abuse care is driven by local and state ideology rather than research-driven and well-informed public health practices, resulting in inadequate care for the most vulnerable citizens of America.
If you think that her conservative roots will improve mental health care and drug policy in the United States, you are badly mistaken. Those roots have run the United States into the ground: First with Nixon's war on drugs, next with Reaganomics, mass incarceration, and destruction of mental health care funding, then with Clinton's continued support of conservative economic policies, deregulation, backwards drug policy, mass incarceration, and gutting of mental health care infrastructure by the pharmaceutical industry and top levels of American government.
Poor decision-making at the top levels of government used to result in early death for many African Americans. However, with weak psychoactive drugmaker regulation and increasing income inequality, the epidemic of death has caught up to Caucasians. The 2015 winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, Angus Deaton, found that Caucasian men and women in the United States have been dying at alarming rates the past 20 years. It has the attention of President of the United States and the media, but in a much different way than the crack baby "problem" of the 1980s.
What do Bernie Sanders and the 2015 Nobel Prize winner in Economics have in common? They both recognize that it is important to listen to the wants and needs of citizens.
Bernie Sanders: "The problem with not listening to what most of your citizens want and need. "I am telling people what they want to hear. They want jobs. They want healthcare. They want educational opportunities for their kids. They want to deal with climate change. They want the wealthiest people to pay their fair share of taxes. Yeah, that's what I'm telling people. And on every one of those issues, that is exactly what the American people want.... The difference is what I tell people is what I believe to be true, what is true. And you check the issues. You look at the polling. Do the people want the wealthiest folks in this country to start paying their fair share of taxes? You know what, establishment may not like that. It is true. Do people think that we should make public colleges and universities tuition free? Yeah they do. Should we raise the minimum wage? Yeah. That's what the American people want. So what we are doing is maybe saying to the American people, it's about time that the Congress listened to YOU, and your needs, and your demands."
Conservative Reaganomics have also hurt Americans. Asher Edelman, Wall Street icon, stated in an interview with MSNBC, "80% of Americans have been in a recession for at least 15 years... Bernie Sanders is the best presidential candidate for the economy, no question." Edelman stated in a separate interview, "When you go to Reaganomics and try to release money to the rich in the hope that it'll trickle down to the others, we have proven time and time again that it is nonsense. It doesn't trickle down anywhere. The man with a million dollar income who makes another $100,000 is more likely than not not to spend it, and he generally invests it in a secondary investment, not a primary investment. He will create no jobs with it."
Lack of insight: How did Clinton feel it was okay to accept $675,000 in speaking fees from investment bank Goldman Sachs, a company that just paid a $5 billion settlement for ripping off the United States?
Bernie Sanders has a long history of taking the correct positions on social, economic, healthcare, and foreign policy issues. Socially conscious Pope Francis recentlyinvited Sanders to speak at the Vatican.
Will Hillary Clinton Conservatism Address Weak FDA Regulation of Psychoactive Drugmakers, the Real Drug Problem in America?
In 1971, Nixon called drug abuse "Public Enemy No. 1." He signed new laws that cracked down on users and created the Drug Enforcement Administration. By 1973, hundreds of thousands of drug users, most of them African-American, were arrested under the new laws.
The war on drugs also contributed mightily to raising the U.S. prison population more than eightfold.
Forty years after Richard Nixon, Americans are beginning to outgrow the metaphor of war. They have discovered treatment. A lot of people have suffered in the meantime."
Hillary Clinton has received 1/3 of all campaign contributions given by the pharmaceutical industry. Can it be trusted that she will crack down on Pharma and the FDA on the important issues of high drug costs and pharmaceutical industry fraud? With glaring responsibility of the opioid epidemic being placed on pharma marketing fraud and loose regulation, why is there no mention of this on her campaign website?
HillaryClinton.com: No mention of the role of Pharma and loose FDA regulation in todays "quiet" opioid and heroin epidemics
Andrew Kolodny, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Phoenix House and Executive Director of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing : What Hillary Clinton Could Do About the Opioid Crisis. On her website or in televised debates, Hillary Clinton still refuses to do #2 and #3 on Dr. Kolodny's list.
2. Understand how we got into this mess. "The huge uptick in prescriptions reflects the medical community responding to an industry-funded campaign that grossly minimized risks of long-term opioid use, especially the risk of addiction, while exaggerating its benefits."
3. Have the FDA Enforce the Federal Food and Drug Cosmetic Act. "If the FDA had been enforcing this law all along in regard to opioids, drug companies would never have been permitted to market long-term opioid use for common chronic conditions like low back pain, and we might have avoided this public health catastrophe. Until drug companies are prohibited from falsely promoting opioids as safe and effective for long-term use, it will be very hard to end the overprescribing that fuels this crisis." Hillary makes no mention of Pharma or the FDA on her website.
Fix the FDA: Healthcare professionals, law enforcement, and Congressmen address the prescription opioid and heroin epidemics.
Markey, Manchin: Reform FDA to Address Opioid Crisis
#RxProblem: Everything you need to know about America's psychoactive prescription drug and opioid problem
Mental Health, Addiction, and Drug Policy: Politics and Faux Morals Trump American Health
America's Refusal to Accept Progressive Harm Reduction Principles Throughout History Has Proven Disastrous
Crime: How Did Drugs and Guns Become So Prevalent in the 1980s?
In response to the allegations, CIA Director John Deutch held a town hall meeting in Los Angeles, CA.
Below are a few of the many questions thrown at a noticeably uncomfortable CIA director.
"Forget the Drugs, How Did the Guns Get Here?"
Forget the Drugs, How Did the Guns Get Here?"
Former LAPD detective confronts the CIA Director
Michael Ruppert Confronts CIA Director John Deutch
Welcome to the Information Age: "Dark Alliance" was published on the Mercury-News’ website, making it one of the first viral news pieces of the internet era.
Terence McKenna in 1996: "Internet is the great equalizer."
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI): "Clear Differences"
Founder and president of the Human Rights Foundation, Thor Halversson: "I actually made the largest contribution allowable to the campaign of Bernie Sanders... Because the Democratic frontrunner right now is unfortunately someone who has taken millions and millions of dollars from many dictatorships… Algeria, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia… countries that execute people for being gay. Countries that restrict all press freedoms. Countries that, in some cases, ban Christmas. I would much rather have Bernie Sanders be the Democratic frontrunner than a person who takes money from dictatorships, unquestionably."
The Information Age Does Not Bode Well for Illegal Covert Operations:
Foreign Policy Decisions: Risky Business
Rick Steves and Bernie Sanders: Tackling Greed, Holding Healthcare to a Higher Standard to Protect America's Future
Failing America: Politicians Lack Courage to Fight Substance Abuse and Improve Mental Health and Drug Policy
Asher Edelman: Bernie Sanders the Best Candidate to Help 80% of Americans Stuck in Neverending Recession
Bernie Sanders: "What our campaign is about is a very radical idea. We're going to tell the truth."
Hillary Clinton in Black History
Governor Peter Shumlin on the Root Cause of Opioid Crisis
At a National Governors Association meeting on February 20, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin gave powerful remarks regarding the "big picture" in America's unique prescription opioid epidemic.
Shumlin: I want to thank all the panels for their helpful suggestions, comments, and offers to cooperate with us. Governor Sandoval and I chaired this committee last year. We had a very similar conversation and I'm encouraged by the bipartisan acknowledgement that it is up to governors to act and make a difference on this issue, and I think we have a huge opportunity. And I think there's some reason for hope... I guess I would ask my fellow governors and folks on this panel this question, but I wanna preface it by expressing some frustration in addition to the hope. Listen, we're all doing the same things, I think, in our states. We are building out treatment. We're lifting the veil on the stigma and treating it as a disease instead of a crime. We're doing criminal justice reform. We're getting naloxone, telling them how to take it, so people stop dying in the streets who shouldn't be dying in the streets.
We're spending extraordinary resources. But I can tell you from someone who got out there early on this one. My frustration is... that not all that much has changed in Vermont. And I bet you'll find this, if you do all the things we're doing, you're going to have the same frustration. So we have to ask the fundamental question, why are we here? Like...what has changed in America? Why do we have all these folks addicted to either painkillers or heroin, or both? And I think we are hesitant as elected officials to look at how we got here, and I think we have to. So how did we get here? What has changed?
Governor Peter Shumlin: Addressing the #RxProblem
Shumlin: In Congress, when I testified recently, after 3 U.S. senators, two Republicans and a Democrat were working hard on this issue. Two senators said, "Well, you know, if we built higher walls on the Mexican border, we'd keep out the drug dealers that are bringing in this cheap heroin." And my response was, we've had drug dealers on our borders as long as I've been alive, and we probably always will, unfortunately. And what has changed? Why are they doing so well when they really weren't able to sell heroin in these quantities twenty years ago.
And let's answer the question.
"It isn't the drug dealers on the South American border that are our biggest challenge, believe it or not. Yes, they're a big problem. But it is our drug dealers that are FDA approved, selling this stuff in every pharmacy in America."
There isn't a governor here who doesn't know that.
So, I started looking at the history of this. Listen, in the 1990s when the FDA approved Oxycontin... We have to remember–and I'm sympathetic to our medical community–that the manufacturer of Oxycontin, Purdue Pharma, told our healthcare providers across America that we finally have a non-addictive painkiller. What a dream, right? Well, the folks started passing it out and a lot of folks got on it and became addicted, and I think a lot of providers started going, wait a minute, this doesn't seem to be working out quite right.
And they started looking at it, and you know, this is a history we don't talk about much, but, Purdue, the manufacturer, was taken to court. Three of their executives were charged with lying to physicians that they had information that this was in fact addictive but they told providers it wasn't. They paid a $70 million fine. Nobody went to jail. But, in that same year, they sold $11 billion worth of painkillers. So, you know, math is tough for some politicians, but the last time I checked, there's a thousand million in a billion. And so they paid a $70 million fine. $11 billion sold.
Shumlin: My point is, we all talk about how we can spend more resources fixing the problem. And we aren't willing enough to look at the global challenge. The global challenge is this. In 2010, we prescribed enough Oxycontin in America to keep every adult in America high for a month. That's just a fact. In 2012, we sold 250 million prescriptions of Oxycontin. We only have 250 million people in America, right? That's a bottle for every living adult.
The FDA, just recently–and I say the FDA is part of our problem–they just approved Zohydro a couple of years ago, which is Oxycontin on steroids. You can crush it, it's not tamper resistant, you can shoot it, you can snort it. So we're right back there all over again.
So, I guess I'll ask this question. If we know that the Blue Cross Blue Shield program in Massachussetts, the painkillers kill program, is working, why wouldn't we say, as governors, to the health and human services committee here...let's figure out what the protocols are. I went out in my State of the State and I said, let's limit for minor procedures in Vermont, let's limit the number of painkillers to 10, and then if you need more you can get more you gotta get more.
talking about, we have all these folks with chronic pain, you know, he shouldn't be talking about how many to prescribe. What does he know, he's not a doctor." And I keep saying,
"Well yeah, I plead guilty. And you're doing such a good job of it with your medical degrees. 250 million prescriptions in a year... I don't need to be a doctor. I don't need to go to medical school to know that THAT IS NOT OKAY. We got 110 people in America that die everyday from this."
You know, when we had that guy, remember he put the bomb in his shoe and he got on a plane and it didn't go off? So we were all horrified and started taking our shoes off when we go to the airport, right. So millions and millions of people,
"We take our shoes off because of this one guy that got on a plane and tried to detonate a bomb. If this was a terrorist threat, imagine what we'd be doing."
Chronic Pain Fact: Most physicians are not educated properly in the treatment of chronic pain. It's tricky. The federal government is working on this problem.
"The most common chronic pain conditions are these centralized pain states. So when we heard earlier of the women dying of opioids in their 40s, it's because these... right now, even though we have recommended against using opioids forever in fibromyalgia, 1/3 of the fibromyalgia patients in the United States are taking opioids. We're using the wrong drugs in the wrong people when we're treating these centralized pain states. Why is this a problem? Because you have to turn the pharmacologic armamatarium upside down. The drugs that work in people with centralized pain are the opposite of the drugs that work in nociceptive pain. Opioids, NSAIDS, critical steroids don't do anything for these centralized pain states." –Daniel Clauw is a Professor of Anesthesiology. Medicine (Rheumatology) and Psychiatry at the University of Michigan. He serves as Director of the Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center. Watch the full video from Dan Clauw, Pain and Depression, What is the Relationship? Also see: Power of Positive Emotions in Mind-Body Health.
Clauw, continued: "Some of these patients that we see with fibromyalgia, that I'll refer to as "mad dog" fibromyalgia, have essentially had an untreated disease for 30 or 40 years. And now we don't just untreat it, we maltreat it. We give them opioids, which probably makes them worse. We do surgical procedures that are not going to help them. These people... all subspecialists just don't like because they feel uncomfortable taking care of..."
Shumlin: So my point is, why don't we, as governors, in a bipartisan spirit, to put together prescribing protocols that we recommend for all 50 states. Let's come up with a suggested list of protocols and as governors, let's try driving them through our states so that we go after the source, the root, of the problem that has lead us into this crisis. And I say, until we do that... and there's going to be huge resistance. You know, let's be honest about this. Big Pharma, in this room, we gotta lot of friends with us. If I ask them to all raise their hands... raise your hand if you're working for a drug-related company... just out of curiousity. Come on, let's see the courage. How many? Great, see. They're concerned. They're good. They wanna help us. If we can enlist them to take on this problem with us, we can solve it.
But you can't convince me that we have 250 million Americans in chronic pain. So let's do it together. And I'm asking this committee of governors, members of this panel, how can we put together a list of prescribing protocols that we could all embrace that would actually make a difference, instead of dancing around this?
And I'm gonna close by this: Our biggest enemy... because, you know... the beautiful comments of Joanne Peterson. I have heard more stories like Joanne's, and so have we all. And you know what we do? We go, "God, that's just so heart-wrenching. It's just so horrid."
"But you know, we're up against some big financial pressures here. Just a few years ago, the combined pharmaceutical industry spent $435,000 per member of Congress lobbying for their views, let's just get this out there. $435,000. That's big money."
So I say, if governors, on a bipartisan basis, can say listen, we are above all of that, we're going to come up with protocols to make a difference. And I'm just asking us,Do we have the courage? Do we have the heart to do it?
Another "big picture" item: Click on the image below to learn how public health, pharmaceutical, and healthcare policies of the United States have put Americans on a different health trajectory than citizens of other countries.
It's a Matter of Conscience: Tackling Greed, Holding Healthcare to a Higher Standard to Protect America's Future. Adolescent Depression and Early Life Stress Linked to Impaired Reward Circuits
"I told you that I will not support your nomination because you are not strong enough on the most important issue that the American people are concerned about with regard to prescription drugs.
Will Pharma Fraud and Drug Costs Impact the Election?
Failing America: Politicians Lack Courage to Fight Substance Abuse and Improve Mental Health and Drug Policy
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