Wednesday, August 31, 2016

OBAMA'S CRONY BIG PHARMA LOOTING AMERICA LIKE OBAMA'S CRONY BANKSTERS! - EpiPen price gouging: Capitalism and the US health care crisis


Obamacare, a plan devised by and for the insurance industry,

places no serious limits or requirements on the corporations. 

They can do as they please, jacking up premiums, co-pays 

and deductibles, or pulling out of the program altogether if 

the profits are not sufficiently high. That is precisely what the

biggest insurers are now doing, with the result that next year 

nearly one-third of counties in the US will have only one 

insurer under Obamacare.

On a daily basis, working people see reports of multimillion-

dollar bonanzas for executives at giant pharmaceutical and 

insurance companies, while tens of millions of people 

struggle to pay for essential prescription drugs and medical 

treatments because of ever-higher deductibles, co-pays and 


EpiPen price gouging: Capitalism and the US health care crisis

EpiPen price gouging: Capitalism and the US health care crisis

31 August 2016
Mylan Pharmaceutical’s enormous price hikes for EpiPen, an emergency drug for life-threatening allergic reactions, highlight both the outrageous practices of the US pharmaceutical industry and the deplorable state of health care in America.
A two-pack of EpiPen Auto-Injectors, which cost about $100 

in 2004, adjusted for inflation, now costs over $600, putting 

the life-saving device out of reach for many adults and 

children. The device quickly delivers a controlled dosage of 

epinephrine to treat anaphylaxis, a potentially deadly allergic 

reaction to medication, food or insect bites.
Mylan’s price gouging has become a focal point of anger over the complete subordination of health care to huge corporations that are driven by an insatiable quest for profit. On a daily basis, 

working people see reports of multimillion-dollar bonanzas 

for executives at giant pharmaceutical and insurance 

companies, while tens of millions of people struggle to pay 

for essential prescription drugs and medical treatments because of ever-higher deductibles, co-pays and premiums.
Mylan’s price gouging is a particularly disgusting example of profiteering in the health care industry. A 2011 survey found that 8 percent of US children had a food allergy and nearly 40 percent of these individuals had a history of severe reactions. With the six-fold increase in price, families are gambling on not purchasing EpiPens or paying for the auto-injectors by going deeper into debt and forgoing other necessities.
Mylan is the second-largest generic and specialty drug company in the world, with about 35,000 employees, more than 1,400 products, and customers in more than 150 countries. Mylan obtained the EpiPen franchise through its 2007 purchase of the generic division of Merck, another pharmaceutical giant.
To generate sales, Mylan has spent tens of millions on EpiPen TV ads. This includes $1.7 million on ads broadcast during the Rio Olympics that show a teenager mistakenly ingesting peanut butter at a party and losing consciousness while her friends frantically call 911.
Forty-seven US states now require public schools to stock the devices. Its use has grown by 67 percent since 2008, and over 3.6 million prescriptions were written for EpiPens last year. Sales of the device have generated annual revenues of $1 billion, accounting for 40 percent of Mylan’s profits.
Mylan CEO Heather Bresch’s total 

compensation went from $2.4 million in 2007

to nearly $19 million in 2015. When 

questioned in an interview about the EpiPen 

price hikes, she said, “Look, we’re going to 

continue to run a business.”
But Bresch and Mylan, contrary to the media presentation, are not aberrations. Drug companies across the board are raising prices for both generic and brand name drugs. Here are some of the biggest recent price hikes:
• Between 2002 and 2013, the cost of insulin for treatment of diabetes rose nearly 200 percent, from $4.34 per milliliter to $12.92.
• Gilead prices a single course of treatment with Sovaldi, a hepatitis C drug, at $84,000, or $1,000 per pill.
• Turing Pharmaceuticals last year acquired US marketing rights for Daraprim, used to treat the parasitic disease toxoplasmosis, and raised the price from $13.50 to $750 a tablet.
A 2015 report found that prescription drugs cost up to 10 times more in the US than they do in other countries. The EpiPen is a case in point. Meda sells a two-pack of EpiPens in France for about $85, while the price for the antidote syringes in Canada is about $100.
An article in Tuesday’s New York Times pointed indirectly to the involvement of a whole network of corporate players in the profiteering that rests upon the inflation of prescription drug prices. It quotes the head of a consulting firm for the drug distribution industry as saying that “if Mylan had simply lowered the price, it would have risked angering all the parties in the distribution network, including pharmacy benefit managers, wholesalers and pharmacies, which take a piece of the total amount spent on the drug.”
Commenting on Mylan’s decision, in the face of a sharp fall in its stock price last week, to offer a generic version of EpiPen at a price of $300, half that of the brand-name version, the drug industry expert said that introducing a generic was “a way to do it without making enemies with a bunch of Fortune 25 companies who control your fate.”
In other words, health care provision in capitalist America is a racket in which the spoils are divided among a number of corporate players, at the expense of the health and lives of the general population.
Another industry analyst noted on Monday that even at the “bargain” price of $300, Mylan’s overall revenue per prescription would be about $280.
The Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s signature domestic program, is not aimed at shaking up this state of affairs, but at entrenching and deepening it. The legislation’s central provision, the “individual mandate,” compels individuals and families without insurance to purchase policies from private insurers under threat of a stiff tax penalty.
In the fourth year of Obamacare, it is a scandal in itself that some 27 million people in the US remain uninsured, as many people are too poor to buy coverage, even with the plan’s modest government subsidies. Most of the least expensive ACA plans come with deductibles in excess of $5,000 and other outrageous out-of-pocket costs that render the plans virtually useless in covering medical costs, forcing people to self-ration their medical care.
Obamacare, a plan devised by and for the insurance 

industry, places no serious limits or requirements on the corporations. They can do as they please, jacking up premiums, co-pays and deductibles, or pulling out of the program altogether if the profits are not sufficiently high. That is precisely what the biggest insurers are now doing, with the result that next year nearly one-third of counties in the US will have only one insurer under Obamacare.
From the insurance leviathans, to the pharmaceutical firms, to the giant hospital chains, to the drug store chains—the entire health care system in America is dominated by huge corporations in operation for one reason: to make a profit. The needs of people for medical treatments, tests and prescription drugs are entirely secondary.
Quality health care for everyone is a basic social right. But it is incompatible with a system based on the capitalist market.
The Socialist Equality Party calls for an end to medicine-for-profit and the establishment of free, high-quality, state-run health care for all. In opposition to the corporate-controlled health care system, we call for the nationalization of the insurance companies, the pharmaceutical giants and the hospital and drug store chains and their transformation into publicly owned and democratically controlled institutions.
Socialized medicine as part of a socialist economy is the only basis upon which a rational, humane and egalitarian health care system can be developed.
Kate Randall

This gave rise to a massive boom in 

speculation that has greatly exacerbated the 

growth of social inequality. The wealth of the 

400 richest individuals in the US skyrocketed 

from $1.27 trillion in 2009 to $2.34 trillion 

last year.

Obama success story: Third biggest stock market boom since 1900

By E.P. Bannon 
31 August 2016
A recent commentary published in the New York Times celebrates the boom in share prices under President Barack Obama. The article appeared in the Sunday, August 21 print edition of the Times under the headline, “The Great Obama Bull Market,” but was initially published online under a headline even more explicit about the beneficiaries of Obama’s policies: “The Obama Years: The Best of Times to Be a Stock Investor.”
The author, Jeff Sommer, begins by describing the stock market under Obama in glowing terms. He writes: “The facts are inescapable: The Obama years have been among the best of times to be a stock investor, going all the way back to the dawn of the 20th century.” He notes that someone who bought a low-cost stock index fund at the beginning of Obama’s presidency would have seen the value of the investment triple as of today.
Obama has overseen the third best run for stock market investors since 1900, Sommer writes. The market performed better only under the presidencies of Republican Calvin Coolidge in the 1920s, during the speculative boom that led to the Great Depression, and Democrat Bill Clinton, who presided over the era of “irrational exuberance” on financial markets and the tech bubble. Under Obama, the stock market performed better than under pro-business Republican presidents such as Ronald Reagan, Dwight Eisenhower and George H.W. Bush.
The current bull market is the outcome of deliberate policies undertaken by Obama in the wake of the 2008 financial crash to save the banks at the expense of the vast majority of the population, beginning with the bailout of major financial institutions.
Obama’s appointment of Timothy Geithner as treasury secretary was an unambiguous signal to Wall Street that its interests would be protected. Geithner, as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, had played a key role in the inflation of the subprime mortgage bubble that burst in 2007 and 2008, leading to the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the September 2008 financial meltdown. As head of the New York Fed, he was one of the main architects, along with Bush Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Fed Chair Bernanke, of the TARP program and the subsequent infusions of public funds into the banking and financial system.
At the same time, Obama opposed any meaningful 

government-imposed limits on the salaries and bonuses of 

executives at the banks and corporations that received 

billions of dollars in federal handouts and guarantees 

through the Troubled Asset Relief Fund (TARP) and other 

The US Federal Reserve lowered its benchmark interest rate to near zero and adopted the policy of “quantitative easing” to pump trillions of dollars into the financial markets. Obama’s reappointment of Ben Bernanke in 2009 and his appointment of Janet Yellen as Bernanke’s successor in 2013 were decisions to support the continuation of this policy.
This gave rise to a massive boom in 

speculation that has greatly exacerbated the 

growth of social inequality. The wealth of the 

400 richest individuals in the US skyrocketed 

from $1.27 trillion in 2009 to $2.34 trillion 

last year.
Share prices have soared to record heights, but have virtually no correlation with the stagnating real economy outside the world of finance. Economic growth for the remainder of 2016 and next year is estimated to be at 2 percent, far lower than after previous recessions. Meanwhile, median household income has fallen by 7 percent since 2000 and labor’s share of total income has dropped from 66 percent to 61 percent.
These days, Obama rarely gloats (at least in public) over the success of the stock market due to the obvious hostility of the majority of the population to Wall Street. But key decisions he took were critical to the explosive rise in stock prices over the past 7 years.
In March of 2009, the Obama administration carried out a number of measures to steady the nerves of America’s financial aristocracy and restore confidence on Wall Street. After the House of Representatives passed a bill to tax some bonuses at a handful of companies that had received government bailout money, following an explosion of public anger over the announcement of $165 million in executive bonuses by the bailed-out insurance giant American International Group (AIG), Obama moved to block passage of a similar bill by the Senate.
That same month, the administration announced a “private-public partnership” to offload the banks’ bad mortgage assets at public expense. Merely days later, Obama announced plans to “fundamentally restructure” the US auto industry while forcing brutal wage and benefit concessions on auto workers as a condition for any further loans to General Motors and Chrysler. The restructuring of the auto industry signaled a broader assault on the working class as a whole.
It was after the implementation of these policies that the stock market began its record-breaking ascent.
OBAMA-CLINTONOMICS: You were wondering how many jobs went to illegals and how well Obama’s crony banksters have done???

The sputtering economic recovering under President Obama, the last to follow a major recession, has fallen way short of the average recovery and ranks as the worst since the 1930s Great Depression, according to a new report.

Had the recovery under Obama been the average of the 11 since the Depression, according to the report, family incomes would be $17,000 higher, six million fewer Americans would be in poverty, and there would be six million more jobs.
"The decline in homeownership is one sign of the deep social crisis in the United States. As rents and housing costs have soared, spurred on by financial speculation that has enriched the ruling elites, incomes and jobs for most Americans have shriveled."
OBAMA-CLINTONOMICS TO SERVE THE SUPER RICH: The slow and painful death of America
"These figures present a scathing indictment of the social order that prevails in America, the world’s wealthiest country, whose government proclaims itself to be the globe’s leading democracy. They are just one manifestation of the human toll taken by the vast and all-pervasive inequality and mass poverty that dominates American society."


The same period has seen a massive growth of social inequality, with income and wealth concentrated at the very top of American society to an extent not seen since the 1920s.

“This study follows reports released over the past several months documenting rising mortality rates among US workers due to drug addiction and suicide, high rates of infant mortality, an overall leveling off of life expectancy, and a growing gap between the life expectancy of the bottom rung of income earners compared to those at the top.”


Clinton, in the guise of a “jobs” and “infrastructure” program, promoted yet another scheme to hand out tax cuts and other incentives for companies to hire workers at poverty-level wages, with the trade unions brought in to keep the workers in line in return for a cut in the spoils.


America’s Looming Economic Armageddon – Can the Rich Get Even Richer During the Meltdown? Haven’t they looted us into bankruptcy?

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