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MARK KARLIN – Big Pharma Is Getting Ready to Celebrate Gluttony at the Expense of Health

I recently wrote about how Big Pharma largely drafted the Medicare Part D legislation signed by George W. Bush in 2006, which resulted in billions of dollars in windfall profits for drug companies. How was this fleecing of seniors in need of medication accomplished? The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) engaged in the customary DC practices of big …

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Report: US medicine spending up 8.5 percent 2015

U.S. spending on prescription drugs rose 8.5 percent last year, slightly less than in 2014, driven mainly by growing use of ultra-expensive new drugs and price hikes on other medicines. A report from data firm IMS Health estimates patients, insurers, government programs and other payers spent a combined $309.5 billion last year on prescription medicines. The IMS Institute for Healthcare …

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Alternative Visions – Social Security’s 80th Birthday And Still Under Attack – 08.15.15

Jack Rasmus and guest, Eric Laursen, discuss the current condition of social security programs in the US today, on this month’s 80th anniversary of the passage of the social security law. A program which has immense popular support by Americans of all political persuasions is nonetheless still under attack, with plans by business and conservative forces to somehow privatize it and let Wall St. get their hands on the money to charge fees and interest. Jack explains how the privatization of defined benefit pension plans in the US since the 1980s and the ongoing privatization of health insurance have led to dual crises that will eventually explode in costs, loss of income, and great hardships. Social Security privatization would lead to the same. Jack and Eric discuss the different conditions of the various funds within social security—the retirement and disability funds, Medicare hospital and doctor coverage, and the prescription drug plan. Both explain how minor changes can ensure funding for all funds to the end of the century. Initiatives to expand social security to provide more benefits are also discussed.