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Hidden biotech perks
Question: Who believes Sen. Mitch McConnell and congressional Republicans support decreased spending and deficit reduction? If you buy that, you are supremely ill-informed.
Buried in the fiscal cliff bill is a special little goodie for the world’s largest biotechnology company, Amgen. According to reporters Eric Lipton and Kevin Sack: “The language buried in Section 632 of the law delays a set of Medicare price restraints on a class of drugs that includes Sensipar, a lucrative Amgen pill used by kidney dialysis patients.”
How sweet of a deal is it, you ask? It will cost an additional $500 million to Medicare, which will be passed on to taxpayers. This extremely expensive windfall for Amgen actually is an extension to a previous two-year delay. Lipton and Sack further report Amgen and its 74 lobbyists have “deep financial and political ties” to our own Sen. McConnell, among others.
Since 2007 they have contributed almost $5 million to political candidates. While Mr. McConnell is not the only one who has benefited from Amgen’s largesse, he certainly is among the most prominent. This hardly is a contribution to debt reduction, but it is another way to line the pockets of political hacks like Mr. McConnell. Does anyone else but me find this outrageous?
Steven L. Wright
Obama and protecting children
In his second inaugural address, the president spoke broadly of human dignity, equality and the value of protecting the vulnerable.
“Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for and cherished and always safe from harm.”
But our president does not apply this to the most vulnerable among us. Since 1973, the United States has declared legal the death of almost 56 million unborn children. These children were certainly not “Cherished and always safe from harm.” The president, since his days in the Senate, has supported partial-birth abortion. He does not extend “safety from harm” to hospital delivery rooms.
“We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else because she is an American, she is free and she is equal not just in the eyes of God but also in our own.”
The president does not consider such little girls to be free and equal or deserving of success while in the womb. According to the laws of our country, she has no right to keep her life from being snuffed out before her birth.
Our nation cries in outrage, and rightly so, when children are slaughtered in school. Decades of legalized abortion surely have contributed to the broken minds of those who destroy life so easily. When life is so devalued before birth, it remains cheap to many after birth as well.
“Together we resolve that a great nation must care for the vulnerable and protect its people from life’s worst hazards and misfortune.”
The president had no thought for the unborn when he said this. But that is exactly what the people of this nation, who fight to protect the lives of the unborn, must continue relentlessly to do. And we should pray for our president to recognize the shocking dichotomy between the values he claims to uphold and the agenda of death he so vigorously promotes.
Leigh Ann Pierce