U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders—now registered as an Independent—continues to lead the vocal opposition to Donald Trump’s domestic agenda, which includes raising health care costs for the middle class to increase profits for private insurers and giving tax breaks to the country’s wealthiest citizens at the expense of the less fortunate.
In response to the news, for example, that Trump has nominated Alex Azar, a former executive at the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, to head the Department of Health and Human Services, Sanders didn’t hold back.
At a time when the United States pays, by far, the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs, the last thing we need is to put a pharmaceutical executive in charge of the Department of Health and Human Services.
Sanders also pointed out how greed underpins the pharmaceutical industry in the country.
During Mr. Azar’s tenure at Eli Lilly, this multi-billion-dollar corporation dodged taxes while charging Americans outrageously high prices for life-saving prescription drugs. We need an HHS secretary who is willing to take on the greed of the pharmaceutical industry and lower prescription drug prices, not one who has financially benefited from this greed.
Democrats weighed in as well, but the national leadership of the Democratic Party is still stuck in a compromise mode with the Trump regime. But this time around it’s going to be different, right? House minority leader Nancy Pelosi began a statement about Azar’s nomination with this meaningless sentence, “The American people must hope that the nomination of Alex Azar will begin a shift from the Trump Administration’s constant spiteful sabotage of Americans’ health care.” There’s absolutely no hope that’s going to happen. Why say it?
Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer apparently thinks it can all still work out under Trump as well. In response to Azar’s nomination, Schumer said, “The next secretary must demonstrate a commitment to lowering premiums, and not sabotaging the Affordable Care Act and our health care system with reckless actions that hurt families. I look forward to reviewing Mr. Azar’s nomination.”
Schumer knows that a commitment to decreasing health costs is never going to happen under the Trump regime and majority Republican rule. Why not just get out in front of the issue and oppose this type of industry-led oversight into virtually all aspects of American life. That’s the problem, not that people with corporate backgrounds won’t compromise.
There’s a reason an intraparty war rages in the Democratic Party as its centrist-right leadership becomes a laughing stock on Saturday Night Live.
The national leadership of the Democratic Party refuses to come to terms with the fact that Trump and his surrogates consistently lie openly about the intent of their proposals and overall agenda. This leadership failure is ultimately a grave disservice for the country because it means no one but Republicans have a voice in our government under a dangerous, corrupt regime.