H.R. 3513/S. 2023, the Prescription Drug Affordability Act, would allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices for the first time, and would close the notorious Medicare Part D "donut hole" of prescription drug coverage by 2017 instead of 2020. It would also force big pharma corporations to offer price rebates to the poor, make it easier to get cheaper drugs from Canada, stiffen penalties for corporations that delay the transition to generic drugs, and force big pharma corporations to disclose how they break down their spending on drugs. In short, it's the kind of health care bill Democrats would have passed in 2010 if they'd had a clue. In the wake of Martin Shkreli's apparently boundless greed -- a greed even Donald Trump finds distasteful! -- I wonder what Republicans will say in response to the fact of this bill. Wait, I know: TEH BILL KILLZ TEH INNOVASHUNZ!!!!! They must think very little of society, to suggest that the drive to innovate can only exist in the presence of overpriced drugs. National People's Action helps you tell your Congressfolk to fight high drug prices by passing the Prescription Drug Affordability Act.
Meanwhile, if you've missed previous opportunities to tell the FCC to keep big telecom corporations from charging prisoners an arm and a leg just to make local phone calls to their loved ones, then Free Press still helps you do that. The FCC actually did start cracking down on the egregious rates phone corporations charge for long-distance calls, but they haven't done the same for local calls yet; well, no time like the present. I know there are still a few people out there who never got tired of being "tough on crime," who say that they're prisoners and they did wrong and they don't deserve anything. But those people are full of soup, for two reasons. One, studies have shown what most folks would figure if they thought about it for a minute -- that when prisoners can keep in touch with their loved ones, they commit fewer crimes once their sentence ends. Two, we're either a civilized society or we're not -- we either set boundaries on what payment we extract from our prisoners for their crimes, or we do whatever we like whenever we're feeling angry or slighted, laws and morals be damned. In short, you don't need to be a bleeding heart to see it my way.