Democratic Senator Cory Booker Got A Quarter Million Dollars From Big Pharma-Votes No On Cheaper Medications For Americans
Rising Democratic star, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker just voted no to an amendment that would have allowed the importation of prescription drugs from Canada into the United States, which is currently prohibited. Medication in Canada is often significantly cheaper than in the USA. This is not a good look for the man who many believe is already laying the groundwork for a 2020 presidential run. The website Jezebel reached out to Booker for comment and was provided with a typical cookie cutter response:
“I support the importation of prescription drugs as a key part of a strategy to help control the skyrocketing cost of medications. Any plan to allow the importation of prescription medications should also include consumer protections that ensure foreign drugs meet American safety standards. I opposed an amendment put forward last night that didn’t meet this test. The rising cost of medications is a life-and-death issue for millions of Americans, which is why I also voted for amendments last night that bring drug prices down and protect Medicare’s prescription drug benefit. I’m committed to finding solutions that allow for prescription drug importation with adequate safety standards.”
In what I am sure is nothing more than a coincidence, and in no way whatsoever affected his vote, Booker has received $254,649 from pharmaceutical companies between 2010–2016. And Booker isn’t the only one. Another four Democratic Senators who also voted against the amendment, in again what is surely a coincidence, have also received roughly a quarter million dollars each from pharmaceutical companies over the same period.
In general, Booker maintains an impressive public image. While serving as mayor of Newark, like a superhero, he ran into a burning home rescuing a woman before firefighters arrived.
During Hurricane Sandy, he opened his home to total strangers. Nearby homes had lost power and he invited people over to charge their phones and watch movies. He even ordered food for his guests.
The guy even saved a freezing dog and litter of puppies.
While Booker may be an awesome puppy saving part-time firefighter, he is still a politician who needs to be held accountable, and his recent vote is unacceptable.
As a relatively new Senator, having been elected just over three years ago, his likability will undoubtedly work wonders, shielding him from public scrutiny. Especially since most Americans will be distracted by the White House freak show over the next four years.
On the surface, Booker’s explanation for his no vote will likely suffice for the casual observer. Who would argue against ensuring that medications meet American safety standards? Well, it’s a bullshit cop-out. The American FDA isn’t flawless and is by no means free from scandals and unethical behavior. They also routinely pull drugs from the market after approving their safety, which is expected as no system is perfect.
But more importantly, we are talking about importing drugs from Canada-not Somalia. There is little reason to cite safety concerns on this matter. Canada is a fully developed nation with an FDA. Americans should have the choice not to risk a financial catastrophe when they need to fill a prescription-and that’s not hyperbole.
The International Federation Of Health Plans, in their annual Comparative Price Report for 2015 outlined just how severe the situation is. A price comparison of seven common medications among countries including South Africa, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, just to name a few, reveals a disturbing reality. The one constant is that drug prices are always more expensive in the United States-absurdly more expensive. There is no shortage of information corroborating this fact.
If I were in need of a costly medication, I would gladly purchase it from Canada if given the option-especially if it meant not having to choose between paying rent or paying for my prescription. But Booker, the liberal Senator who is all but officially on the industry’s payroll, says no.