Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Senator Bayh Sells Out

Senator Evan Bayh voted for an amendment yesterday that essentially killed the bill to import prescription drugs from overseas. The amendment called for the Bush Administration to certify the safety of imported drugs before they're allowed into the country. Of course the administration has already publicly stated that they won't do that.

The "safety" issue is a sham. The drug imports would've been limited to FDA licensed facilities in a few select countries. The truth is, many of the drug distributors already import from these facilities - they just don't want you to be able to do that. The reason, of course, is that they can continue to gouge the American people by forcing us to pay higher prices than the rest of the world which means that we're subsidizing every other country's drug purchases.

And remember back to 2002-2003 when the Bush administration was issuing warnings about the safety of Canadian drugs? Of course when they were pressed they had absolutely no evidence:
"I had four hearings and I asked (FDA Associate Commissioner William Hubbard) to give me examples where people have been damaged by Canadian pharmaceuticals and re-importation, and he couldn't even give me one, not one."

And who was that quote attributed to? None other than Congressman Dan Burton. It's a sad day when Burton is a stronger advocate for the people of Indiana than Senator Bayh is.

Of course let's not forget that Senator Bayh ranked 18th in the Senate's recipients of Pharmaceutical lobbying money. And I would urge the Senator not to even bother with the "I voted for drug imports but I also voted for them to be safe" line. It won't work - you damn well knew that a vote for the "safety" amendment was a vote to kill imports.

Too many times I hear those on the right call Senator Bayh a liberal. But let me pose the question: Is he really a liberal Democrat or a lobbyist Democrat? Today, at least on this issue, the answer is obvious...

1 comment:

Craig said...

Wow, you guys have been busy today, relatively speaking.

I was a heart patient in Canada for the first 8 years of my life, and to the best of my knowledge all the medicine I took was okay. And I was taking stuff that could really mess you up if something did go wrong. As you point out, votes like this for Bayh appear to be motivated out of loyalty to his donors. But it's hard to prove something like that.

I will point out that a vote like this seems consistent with Bayh's "industry friendly" voting record. It's votes like this that are also closely related to his decision no to seek the Dem nomination in '08.