HAGEDORN HYPE : Getting an Award for Opposing Lower Drug Prices

It’s been a while since my email box received an edition of the Hagedorn Report, but the July 17, 2020 email was quite illuminating into what Jim Hagedorn has done for Minnesota’s First District.

First of all, let’s note that the official House calendar schedules the week of July 13th for Washington committee work … not a “District Work Week” when Members should use that week for visiting their constituents, visiting businesses, and communities.  So far example on Wednesday while Hagedorn’s Small Business Committee was meeting on “Long-lasting Solutions for a Small Business Recovery”, Jim Hagedorn was in Faribault; and on Thursday, when the committee was holding a meeting on “Putting America Back to Work : The Role of Workforce Development and Small Business Rehiring”, Mr. Hagedorn was in New Ulm … and on Friday, “Representative” Hagedorn cleared his schedule to participate in an virtual-awards ceremony meanwhile the committee was holding a hearing with Steve Mnunchin entitled “Oversight of the Small Business Administration and Department of the Treasury Pandemic Programs“,  (good news for Minnesota though as Second District Congresswoman Angie Craig and Eighth District Congressman Pete Stauber did question the Treasury Secretary.)

OK … let’s look at the top story that “Representative” Hagedorn wanted his constituents to know … he was “honored to receive the 2020 Champion for Healthy Seniors Award from the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease”. WOW ! What a great honor … or is it ?  If you remember Sam Brody’s 2018 article in MinnPost, “What a boring-sounding award reveals about the creative lengths to which lobbyists will go to influence members of Congress” (Link https://www.minnpost.com/politics-policy/2018/02/what-boring-sounding-award-reveals-about-creative-lengths-which-lobbyists-wi/) then you are not surprised to learn that the group sponsoring Hagedorn’s award, the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, appears to be a subsidiary of the Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America trade association.  “Representative” Hagedorn was cited as being one of over 180 Members of Congress who wrote a letter to the Trump Administration advocating that “Medicare would allow those with chronic conditions to receive the medication and treatments they need in their homes.” Also mentioned that “Representative” Hagedorn was one of 147 Republicans who sponsored H.R.19 – Lower Costs, More Cures Act of 2019 which has not had a formal vote.  What wasn’t mentioned is the major bills that the  Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America lobbied AGAINST — HR 965, the Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples Act of 2019 (CREATES Act), as well as 2 other bills dealing with drug prices: HR 1499, the Protecting Consumer Access to Generic Drugs Act of 2019, and HR 938, the Bringing Low-cost Options and Competition While Keeping Incentives for New Generics (BLOCKING) Act of 2019. These bills were passed in a Bipartisan vote on May 19, 2019 with “Representative” Hagedorn voting NO. Yep … “Representative” Hagedorn got an award for opposing lower drug prices … and he is excited !

Another highlight Mr. Hagedorn hyped is “On Wednesday, I had the pleasure of meeting with Daikin Applied’s executives and touring their beautiful, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Faribault. We had a productive discussion about how Daikin Applied supplies exceptionally efficient commercial air conditioning unit throughout the United States. The company has expanded in Minnesota over the years” … Yep, that’s true … it has grown, just ask former First District Congressman Tim Walz who the company hosted on August 25, 2015 “Daikin’s Faribault, MN team was delighted to share their hard work with Representative Tim Walz yesterday. Our factory teams are pivotal to the HVAC technology that matches the comfort and efficiency needs of Daikin’s customers.” It was during Congressman Walz’s last term that Daikin announced its plans “expand its production capabilities with a new state-of-the-art, built-to-order manufacturing facility in southern Minnesota, north of the city of Faribault.”

Mr. Hagedorn also cited his “meeting with the fine team at the HOPE Center in Faribault on Wednesday and learned more about the important work they do to provide domestic violence victims with the resources and services needed to recover both mentally and physically.” Hmmm … sure wish he had visited them earlier … before he voted NO legislation addressing domestic violence … such as on April 4 2019 when he voted NO on H R 1595 Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act  and most recently, on May 15 2020, when he voted NO on H R 6800 which addressed the needs of domestic violence survivors, advocates, and service providers.

Other items in the Hagedorn Report was a visit to New Ulm to express his appreciation and respect for the city’s police and Brown County Sheriff’s departments and his appointment to the Canada-United States Interparliamentary Group.

Yep, it was an illuminating newsletter …. telling how little Congressman Hagedorn has done for Minnesota’s First District and how much he is “representing” the interests of Big Pharma and touting the Party Of Trump playbook.