In what can only be described as farcical, the Democratic Senators continues their long, winding and long winded path to self-destruction. Senators support a bill one day only to rail against it the next. They throw hissy fits and tantrums while Americans die and others even vote against their OWN amendments.

The latest sell-out to our corporate slave masters is Carl Levin, who represents (supposedly) one of the hardest hit states in the country. Here in Michigan, we have been in the economic doldrums for at least a decade. Levin cow-towed to the Big Three, consistently voting down legislation that would have helped the car companies become more competitive. Well, we all see how wonderfully helpful that was in the end.

Now comes drug re-importation something the Democrats have been crowing about since forever and would institute if we would only elect to them congress. Our part-done, their end-zip. Here is Carl Levin in 2003:

Levin Cosponsors Bill to Allow Importation of Prescription Drugs

Americans would have access to prescription drugs at much lower prices, says Levin

WASHINGTON – Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and a bipartisan group of Senate colleagues today introduced legislation which would enable U.S. licensed pharmacists, drug wholesalers and individuals to import FDA-approved drugs made in FDA-inspected facilities, which would give Americans access to prescription medications at much lower prices than are currently available in this country. The U.S. currently pays the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs.

"It is a travesty that Americans are paying many times what foreign consumers pay for the same prescription drugs, particularly when the drugs are made right here in our own country," Levin said. "By opening the market and creating competition, Americans will hopefully be able to save billions of dollars on prescription drugs."

The Pharmaceutical Market Access Act would create competition in the country’s prescription drug market so that Americans can obtain drugs at the low prices that are available to people in other countries while, at the same time, instituting safety mechanisms to make sure that the drugs meet FDA standards. The Department of Health and Human Services could suspend importation of any product which violates the law.

The prescription drugs cost increases consistently outpace inflation: in 2002, prescription drug spending increased 9.7%. Older Americans are particularly burdened by these costs.

Other sponsors of the legislation include Sens. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Tim Johnson, D-S.D., Mark Pryor, D-Ark., Mark Dayton, D-Minn., Pat Leahy, D-Vt., and Russ Feingold, D-Wisc.

Here he is again in 2005:

Senator Levin has long been a supporter of drug re-importation legislation, allowing Americans to buy U.S.-made drugs at Canadian prices. In 2005, he cosponsored a bipartisan bill, the Pharmaceutical Market Access and Drug Safety Act (S.334), that would allow U.S. licensed pharmacists and drug wholesalers to import FDA-approved medications from Canada.Senator Levin believes the recent changes are a step in the right direction, but more is needed. Under current law, the reimportation of prescription drugs remains illegal, although the focus of customs enforcement has now appropriately shifted from penalizing seniors in need of affordable medication to preventing controlled or illegal drugs from entering the United States. Congress must address the continuing need for safe and affordable prescription drugs, and Senator Levin introduced and cosponsored legislation that would address the high costs associated with the Part D plan and permit drug reimportation. Senator Levin will continue to work to provide all seniors with safe and affordable prescription drugs.

I called Levin’s office and this is the excuse I received for Mr. Levin’s "no" vote. Paraphrased here: The senator felt that voting for the Dorgan Amendment would prevent passage of the larger HCR bill through congress. There are more important issues that need to be passed first that are in the current bill( Hmmm, I guess affordable drugs are not that important to Senator Levin anymore.) I asked his aide just exactly was in the current bill that will lower the cost of health care premiums for Americans. She said, she couldn’t say because the contents of the bill have not been released yet, but Senator Levin is very committed to changing the "status quo" (how they love that word!)

So, let’s recap here. A senator from a blue state that’s in the crapper and desperately needs real health care reform and jobs, votes against a bill that would have saved his constituents millions in drug fees. A bill that he, in fact, sponsored in 2003 and 2006. The reason for this dumb ass vote was so a bill that has no public option, no medicare buy-in, no premium caps, or any other fundamental changes to keep health care costs in check will pass the Senate and give the President something to sign. When I asked Levin’s zombie worker how this makes any logical sense, she became testy and gave the usual "thanks for calling" spiel and hung-up.

So, this is our democracy. Elected officials that do not serve the needs of their constituents and believe that blowing smoke out their asses will placate us. Time for Levin to go. Another incumbent too cowardly, too comfortable, and too compromised to serve our state. Primary, primary…

ADC14

ADC14

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