Stefanik serves her true constituents well

To the editor:

You have to give Elise Stefanik credit for being loyal to her constituents. Her TRUE constituents, that is. The ones who chose her, who imported her into our district and who pay for her dishonest campaign ads: right-wing billionaires, vulture capitalists, Big Pharma and Big Insurance. And give her credit; Elise does a great job for them.

Rep. Stefanik, notoriously, in 2017 voted to kill Obamacare, and without a providing a replacement for folks with preexisting conditions, among other problems. Nothing. Sadly for Elise and her billionaire and corporate sponsors, the late John McCain and all the Democrats in the Senate saved the Affordable Care Act, by a single vote.

Elise proved her loyalty again recently by voting against the Elijah Cummings Lower Drug Cost Bill. It recently passed the House anyway.

If it became law, the Cummings Act would:

¯ Give Medicare and Medicaid the power to negotiate with pharma corporations over drug prices. Right now, thanks to a law passed by the Republicans, they can’t. Which is why, for example, insulin, invented in 1922, is now nearly unaffordable for someone you know.

¯ It would make the lower drug prices negotiated by Medicare and Medicaid also available to people with private plans. Maybe you?

¯ It would limit drug price hikes by pharmas to those ONLY about TWICE as much as their costs in responsible developed countries like Canada, Australia and Germany.

¯ It would limit to $2,000 your out-of-pocket expenses on expensive drugs.

¯ It would save over $500 billion over the next 10 years, which would be reinvested into research on new drugs. Did you think that much of the profits that Big Pharma gets for its price hikes goes for research? Sorry, Elise, that’s a lie. Much of those profits go for stock buybacks, dividends or executive pay hikes (source: Denis Bunis, “Bill to Lower Prescription Drug Prices Passes House”; AARP, Dec.12, 2019). Not research.

Of course, a reasonable version of the Cummings bill has little chance in the Senate. Mitch McConnell and his bought-and-paid-for corporate cronies will make sure of that. But it might have, had Elise and more than two Republicans voted for it in the House.

Elise will always be loyal to her true constituents.

Just not to us, the folks whom she is supposed to be representing.


Phil Newton

Saranac Lake


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