MN02 : Jason Lewis Stands Alone on Colon Cancer

The Power of the Tweet is undeniable in the Age of Trump … after all, is there any better way to communicate with your constituents (of course there is, it’s called an open public town hall meeting.)

Sometimes they can be direct … like this one

And sometimes, they may be promoting good news about constituent’s business … like

The first tweet is a no brainer for every politician … while the second tweet may make you think you are watching an expert magician make a startling sleight-of-hand trick … as he attempts to trick his constituents’ brains.

The message from Master Magician Jason Lewis is designed to convey a simple thought … a local pharmaceutical company has made a significant advancement.
A true statement.
But … Master Magician Jason Lewis doesn’t say what the “product” is … or who it will help.

We know that healthcare is a big issue for Congress … and maybe you read the recent reports of the rise in colorectal cancer deaths in people younger than 55 years (there were 6,606 US deaths in 2015) … or the current opioid epidemic drug crisis which has killed more than 33,000 people in 2015.
Just two of the subjects that Congress could be (IMO “should be“) addressing.

So how does Aurora Pharmaceutical new product(s) fit into this … it doesn’t.

Aurora Pharmaceutical, LLC, is a veterinary pharmaceutical product development and manufacturing company focused livestock and companion animal health.

So what are the new products ?
On July 14th, Aurora Pharmaceutical received FDA approval on Altren® an altrenogest oral progestin solution for horses (to suppress estrus in mares.)
The same day, FDA also approved SwineMate® synchronization of estrus in sexually mature gilts (a young female pig).

There is no human use for these drugs … and unless you are a regular reader of National Hog Farmer or Equine Health Care, you probably wouldn’t hear the news … yet these earned a tweet from Congressman Lewis.
Funny thing is that Aurora Pharmaceutical has not issued a press release on this new product(s) … yet these earned a tweet from Congressman Lewis.

Ah, yes, Master Magician Jason Lewis has dazzled his constituents with news that a local pharmaceutical company has created a new product … what a trick … without saying “abracadabra” Congressman Lewis projects a concern about your health … after all, the announcement referred to a pharmaceutical company.

And part of the sleight-of-hand that Congressman Lewis is hoping his constituents do not notice is his lack of support for congressional action on healthcare.

Oh, sure you know of his undeniable support for H.R.1628 – American Health Care Act of 2017 … but there are other proposals that he does not talk about.

Like H.R.1017 – Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act of 2017.
Yeah, a subject — colon cancer — that nobody wants to talk about … yet 69 Republicans and 89 Democrats have sponsored HR1017 to eliminate an unintended, hidden coinsurance cost, which can be anywhere from $100 to $300, for those beneficiaries who undergo colorectal cancer screenings.

In fact, that bill has the support of 7 members of the Minnesota delegation … and if you guessed the only one not to sponsor it was Jason Lewis, well, you were not fooled by his act.

HR1017 isn’t the only cancer-related legislation that Congressman Lewis has failed to join his colleagues … here are some of the proposals that have bipartisan support :

H.R.632 – Mark Takai Atomic Veterans Healthcare Parity Act (sponsored by 30 Republicans 83 Democrats including 5 DFLers)

H.R.820 – Childhood Cancer STAR Act (109 Republicans 152 Democrats including 5 DFLers)

H.R.931 – Firefighter Cancer Registry Act of 2017 (74 Republicans including Tom Emmer 113 Democrats including 5 DFLers)

H.R.1298 – CT Colonography Screening for Colorectal Cancer Act of 2017 (16 Republicans 17 Democrats including Betty McCollum and Tim Walz)

H.R.1409 – Cancer Drug Parity Act of 2017 (41 Republicans 40 Democrats including Betty McCollum)

H.R.1578 – Donald Payne Sr. Colorectal Cancer Detection Act of 2017 providing Medicare coverage of colorectal cancer screening blood-based tests (3 Republicans 17 Democrats including Betty McCollum)

You ask,”Why should a Member sponsor a bill” …. simple, it tells his constituents what his priorities are.

And what are Congressman Lewis’ priorities ?
Well, Congressman Lewis has sponsored H.R. 2657 Processing Revival and Intrastate Meat Exemption Act or the PRIME Act … to amend the Federal Meat Inspection Act to exempt slaughtering of animals from federal inspection requirements.

And, as he reminds his constituents in his tweet that Jason Lewis is all for “innovation” and as such has sponsored H.R.770 – American Innovation $1 Coin Act … that’s right, Congressman Lewis wants the US Treasury to mint coins for every State to recognize American innovation and the pioneering efforts of individuals or groups … who knows, could Congressman Lewis be promoting Aurora Pharmaceutical for the Minnesota coin ?

That’s Master Magician Jason Lewis … the Leader We Know.

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