— Updated below —

While 90% of Americans wish the Federal Government to negotiate group discount rates for prescription medication, a minority of Senators blocked this legislation (S. 3, The Medicare Fair Prescription Drug Price Act of 2007) from coming to a vote on the Senate floor. Here in Arizona, our senior Senator, John McCain did not vote, and our junior Senator John Kyl voted to block the bill.

Speaking to John Kyl’s vote against introducing such legislation, the question is why. How would this effort to rein in pharmaceutical prices, not be in the public good? And since John Kyl is our Senatorial representative, why would he vote against this issue? Let’s look at the man’s record on similar matters.

Phoenix New Times (4-16-06)

Kyl also has consistently sided with pharmaceutical companies on issues regarding Medicare and senior citizens.

In a 379-8 House vote in 1987 in support of the Older Americans Act — which included Meals on Wheels — Kyl was one of the eight.

He voted to roll back laws protecting Medicare patients against overcharging by physicians.

In the late 1990s, he proposed legislation allowing doctors to refuse to treat Medicare patients. In 2005, Kyl cast the deciding vote against an amendment that would have allowed the federal government to negotiate for lower drug prices under Medicare.

…and so it seems, he is at it again. Siding with big Pharma vs. the average man. Where is the representation in such a vote?

John Kyl, a principled man, is still a corporate shill. Government run as a big business; beholden only to money and power, will consistently be drawn to special interests — those with the capital. The public good gets factored out of such an equation — which is why the people of Arizona find themselves served with such a “principled” vote.

— Updated (4-22-07) —

In true double-speak fashion, Senator Kyl touts the blockage of this legislation as a wonderful thing for senior citizens.

Austin American-Statesman (4-19-07) out of Austin, Texas this:

Senate Republican Conference Chairman Jon Kyl of Arizona called the blocking of debate a “victory for seniors,” saying, “the Senate today chose access over restrictions, choice over government mandates and competition over price controls.”

And that’s the rub folks — Senator Kyl has never embraced collective bargaining of any kind. So what we have is you and me “competing” individually against pharmaceutical corporations, instead of negotiating as a class of citizenry with the power of governmental oversight.

The only victorious seniors will be those holding shares of big pharma in their retirement portfolio, and these gains will undoubtedly evaporate with the soaring cost of medication.

Again, where is the representation?

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