On Friday, March 6th, MPR’s Kerri Miller featured Minnesota’s Sixth District Congressman Tom Emmer … and it was an interesting session … worthy of every American taking the time to listen since he is also the National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman.
The session touched on a number of issues : the coronavirus, healthcare, prescription drugs and mental health … and in the process, Congressman Emmer blamed “the new Socialist Democrat Party” while trashing the Canadian health care system.
Yes … life is good in the mind of Congressman Emmer … and it would be better without those “Socialists”.
Take for example, his assessment of the Covid-19 situation … Congressman Emmer wants us to be “hopeful” because the vaccine is closer than you think — “I heard it could be imminent” … “much sooner than a year” and that if the corona virus was going to happen, “I would rather be here” with our healthcare system than Canada.
** Fun Fact ** Until last week, all coronavirus testing had to be sent to CDC which could only conduct 400 tests a day for the entire U.S. Canada has three government labs that can confirm infection, and Ontario has said its lab alone could handle up to 1,000 samples a day. In a March 6 report, The Atlantic could only verify that 1,895 people in the United States have been tested for the coronavirus. Of course, if you do not test, you cannot report that someone has the virus … very clever.
Yep, Congressman Emmer is getting the inside scoop that so many seem to be missing … he just didn’t name names or companies … but published reports that Gilead Sciences is in clinical trial sure seem that would be good news … except it is expected to conclude on April 1, 2023. Gilead has other testing going on that they hope to report this May. Another company, Moderna Inc. trial is expected to conclude June 1, 2021. Sanofi is pushing to put its clinic trials in by August 2021.
Imminent may be a term that needs to be defined, ’cause Emmer’s “liberal” use of the word that most people presume to be in days, seems to be more in months and years in Emmer’s fantasyland.
Yet, let’s accept Congressman Emmer’s optimistic view and say a vaccine is produced … the next questions are how much will it cost and will there be any resistance from the anti-vaccine crowd.
** Fun Fact ** Congressman Emmer replaced Michele Bachmann whose presidential campaign was marked by her opinion that the HPV vaccine can caused mental retardation and candidate Trump expressed his belief that vaccines cause autism.
The conversation eventually turned to repealing ObamaCare, with Kerri Miller asking with the House, Senate and White House holding all the levels of power as a result of President Trump’s election, why wasn’t the Affordable Care Act repealed last session, as promised, and what would it be replaced by.
RNCC Chairman Emmer blamed the Democrats … reminding listeners of the “new Socialist Democrat Party” … never acknowledging that it was Republicans Susan Collins, John McCain and Lisa Murkowski that voted down the Health Care Freedom Act on July 27, 2017.
RNCC Chairman Emmer went on to bash the recently passed H R 3 Lower Drug Prices Now Act (which would empower the federal government to negotiate prices for certain costly drugs in Medicare and the private market – HHS would have to negotiate at least 25 drugs annually so it would take years for the legislation to take full effect) … calling it an attempt to invoke a European price control system.
** Fun Fact ** According to a report produced by the House Ways and Means Committee, U.S. drug prices were 3.7 times higher than the combined average of the other 11 countries in the study.
Congressman Emmer stated that he wanted to address the methods used by pharmaceutical companies to extend patents. This a problem that could have been addressed in any of the years that Congressman Emmer has been in Congress … so why hasn’t he sponsored any of those bills … including the current GOP proposal – H.R.2700 – Lowering Prescription Drug Costs ?
RNCC Chairman Emmer also warned listeners of the dangers of the Canadian healthcare system … ignoring that Canadians live longer than Americans (by 3 years) … Canadians have a higher quality rating … and lower cost. Gosh, I wonder if Congressman Emmer ever talked with former Third District Congressman Erik Paulsen about his bus trip to Canada to get a Meningitis B vaccine since it wasn’t available in America ?
Lastly, Congressman Emmer discussed the need to address mental health … and his concern that there is a maximum length of stay for patients with mental health diagnoses at 15 days. Congressman Emmer thinks there should be allowance for more days … yet, the limit is something that the Trump Administration was asked to address and they failed to do so when they announced their Medicaid Managed Care proposed rule on November 13, 2018. So, if the Trump Administration is not going to do this via its administrative power, why hasn’t Congressman Emmer introduced legislation to force them ? (Oh, the answer may be the cost … the Trump Administration and many Republicans want to reduce spending in both Medicare and Medicaid and stays in psychiatric facilities can be expensive — an average inpatient weekly stay can range from $4,000 to $6,000 or even more.)
In summary, Congressman Emmer exposed himself as the consummate Trump Pocket Protector (and someone who has failed to sponsor legislation to address the problems he says needs to be accomplished.)
Voters will get a chance to determine if Congressman Emmer deserves another term … or give someone else a chance — someone not riding the Trump Train to Fantasyland. The August primary will determine who his competitors are … Ian Todd (@IanToddforMN) or Tawnja Zahradka (@Tawnja4Congress) who are running to replace him. Check their websites https://www.iantoddforcongress.com/ and https://www.tawnjaforcongress.com/
For those that missed the broadcast, this link is to the podcast https://podcasts.google.com/?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkcy5wdWJsaWNyYWRpby5vcmcvcHVibGljX2ZlZWRzL21wci1uZXdzLXdpdGgta2VycmktbWlsbGVyL3Jzcy9yc3M&episode=L21pbm5lc290YS9wb2RjYXN0cy9rZXJyaS1taWxsZXIvMjAyMC8wMy8wNi9tcHJuZXdzX3RvbWVtbWVyXzIwMjAwMzA2XzY0Lm1wMw&hl=en&ved=2ahUKEwiglea-84noAhXKs54KHaYHDOIQieUEegQIARAE&ep=6