The Democratic House has a drug pricing reform bill. The Senate has a bipartisan bill, sponsored by the powerful Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and passed out of his committee. Donald Trump has made bringing down the cost of prescription drugs a key issue. The Senate, however, isn’t moving on it, and it’s all because of one person: Moscow Mitch McConnell.
Grassley doesn’t foresee any movement, not unless Trump puts extra special pressure on McConnell. “It would be dependent upon the White House asking him to do it at this point,” he told Politico. McConnell doesn’t want to bring up anything that could be seen as bipartisan and thus a win for Democrats, doesn’t want to alienate any powerful industry groups—such as PhRMA—and doesn’t want to bring up any bill that doesn’t have unanimous support among Republicans. That’s pretty much every piece of legislation in existence. The only things he seems intent upon doing are judicial nominations and what he has to do—fund the government.
In September, McConnell said that the issue was “under discussion” and that the Senate was looking at doing something on drug pricing, but he was clearly lying. One Republican lawmaker, when asked about whether the bill would reach the floor, said, “I can’t imagine. … It’s like Grassley, and a couple of Republicans and all the Democrats on the committee.” No matter that seniors are rationing drugs and diabetics are dying because they can’t afford insulin—a cheap-to-produce drug that has been around for decades and decades and is essential for life for diabetics. McConnell can’t give Democrats a win.
Gun violence. An expired Violence Against Women Act. The climate crisis. Election security. A madman in the White House. Moscow Mitch has a stranglehold on the nation, and it has to end.