As of Friday, January 5, 2018
Note the Dec. 27 Hood River News, page B1, “Tracks to ’26” article, wherein amongst these 10-year-olds, a future, amazing, inventive “robotics” engineer (a product of loving guidance and encouragement) may lie an “a-ha!” solution to these out-of-control-run-a-way locomotive engines.
If I, with a $100 GPS mounted in my car, can observe my car’s speed and, at the same time on the same screen, view that area’s speed limit, then I am confident that one of these future engineers will invent an “a-ha!” in-cab audio-visual-rousing warning system that will awaken any distracted, sober, drug free locomotive engineer.
No on 101
On Jan. 23, we will be voting on Ballot Measure 101. This measure is a tax on some health care insurers and providers in the state. Many of the state’s hospitals will be charged seven-tenths of 1 percent on their revenues, in addition to a current 5.5 percent tax on revenues. The state’s coordinated care organizations, private health insurers and Public Employees’ Benefit Board will also be charged 1.5 percent on insurance premiums or premium equivalent revenues. The money thus raised would go to fill a hole in the Oregon Health Plan’s budget.
There are already enough taxes created by the Democrat-controlled Oregon legislature. If you doubt me, then prepare for a shock when you buy a new car, register your vehicle, or buy a new bike worth more than $200.
We have seen $300 million go to a health care website that didn’t even have one person sign up. And we saw millions more go to a bridge that was never even built. Can we trust these politicians who support this measure with more of our money? Vote no on Measure 101.
Drug price gouging
When drugs reach a certain age, they are no longer patent protected and generics can be produced. Bristol-Meyers Squibb produced a cancer drug for brain tumors and Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the drug sometimes known as Lomustine or CeeNU, along with other names. This drug sold for $50 a capsule before becoming eligible for generic manufacturing.
Unfortunately, none were made available in our country, and no other company decided to manufacture the generic here. The drug was purchased by a Miami company called NextSource, which then hiked the price to $768 per pill, an increase of 1,400 percent, making it impossible for many to afford this lifesaving drug. You might also remember Martin Shkreli, who did almost the same thing — he was a hedge fund manager who started a drug company and raised the price on a drug by an obscene amount (by the way, he and his attorney were convicted of fraud, according to CNBC and Bloomberg).
The information about Lomustine comes from Money Watch, who sourced a Wall Street Journal article researched for the journal by Truveen Health Analytics.
There are ways around this. You can buy this drug in Canada for much less and probably from overseas pharmacies elsewhere. The point of this is, why does Congress allow this conduct by drug companies? Why aren’t the prices negotiated, like in almost every other modern country? Why is there a donut hole to increase the price to the consumer who can hardly afford some of these drugs as it is?
It’s my understanding that the Veterans Administration is allowed to work with big pharma to come up with competitive pricing for drugs. Why isn’t the government doing the same for the rest of us so we don’t have companies like this gouging us? Could it be more of those campaign contributions, i.e., legalized bribery?
Despite all the leftified rage toward Greg Walden and the 2017 blatantly blue town hall ambush, our Congressman is not going to hold up a white flag. He’s too busy. For instance, take his support of HR 1848 … it’s great. What is HR 1848 you inquire? It’s where the House passed legislation that Greg helped write with Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Dr. Phil Roe. And here’s what it does: Unburdens VA doctors and allows them to stiff arm paperwork so they can spend many medical moments up close and personal with those ailing vets who so desperately need all that attention. I could go on, but I have to watch my ink overhead. Our vets say thank you, Greg. And I’m one of them.
Need fewer ‘gamers’
In a recent radio interview, I heard Rep. Greg Walden described as someone who relished and excelled at the game of politics. I wish Washington, and Congress in particular, had fewer political “gamers” and more leaders. Mr. Walden took the opportunity to claim he was working for the people of his district (good) and the people of America, who had elected Donald Trump, in that order. What about working for Oregonians?
What about working to protect and promote the Constitution?
It appears that Mr. Walden is primarily concerned with working for his political party and himself and is prepared to sacrifice the majority of Oregonians (and the majority of Americans) and the Constitution in pursuit of political power and influence. We will all be poorer for his confusion over what it means to govern and lead.