Since the vast majority of pharmaceutical research is publicly-financed and since about two-thirds of U.S. medical expenditures (including drugs – many of which are horrific and highly-addictive) are tax-financed through Medicare, Medicaid and other public programs, it is long past time to say clearly that health-care is a HUMAN RIGHT.
The entire health care/health insurance industry must be nationalized and restructured and democratized so that human health is at the center of it, not for-profit corporations. This is not a matter of the greed of a few mega corporations, but that the capitalist system institutionalizes greed in terms of profits.
Bernie, Kahanna and other progressives need to be forthright and say these things directly. While these reforms are improvements, corporations will simply find ways to use them as subsidies to their already obscene profits.
Bernie would be better off withdrawing S.1804 and replacing it with a companion bill to HR 676. Kahanna would be better off protecting the integrity of HR 676, rather than letting Jayapal/Pelosi, et. al. turn it into S. 1804 - or worse.
Both would be better off taking some time to look at the role of pharmaceuticals in the Medical/Industrial Complex and how they are used to addict the U.S. and global populations. They should be talking about the massive over-prescription of depressants, the opioid epidemic, the meth epidemic, etc. They should be talking about healthy living, alternatives to manufactured drugs, etc.They should be talking about jailing drug company executives and doctors as drug dealers.
So lower drug prices are good (with a lot of footnotes). Hell, lower prices on most things are good. We’re fucking suffering under austerity in this global neoliberal empire.
But until progressives actually raise issues like nationalizing health care, education, infrastructure etc., they are nibbling at the crusts of a Tweet sandwich.