AfPA, Alliance for Patient Access, ALSIC, American Life Sciences Innovatoin Council, Champion of Health Care Innovation award, Champion of Medical Access award, healthcare, Lobbyists, Medical indusstries, missouri, Pharmaceutical industries, Roy Blunt
Yesterday I wrote about how gobsmacked I was to receive two glossy mailers asking me to thank GOP Senator Roy Blunt for “being a champion of Medicare access,” and for “being a 2018 champion of Health Care Innovation.” My reaction was due to the fact that Blunt has been a reliable foot-soldier in the GOP war against expanding healthcare access, including, as I noted, mumblecore disavowals of pre-existing conditions protections. He’s also expressed his distaste for Medicare in the past.
The next question is just who is trying to help Senator Blunt pull the wool over Missourians’ eyes? The mailers state that they are paid for by the American Life Sciences Innovation Council (ALSIC) and the Alliance for Patient Access (AfPA) respectively. So who do these groups represent? Not too hard to figure out when one consults the InterWebs:
The Alliance for Patient Access, featured in the brochure above, is a straight-out big pharma controlled entity that uses unwitting journalists and greedy or insecure politicians to push “platforms that help drug companies’ bottom lines”:
The AfPA offers cover for lawmakers who carry out the pharmaceutical industry’s agenda, some observers say. In one striking example, the group accepted $7.8 million in 2014 and 2015 to give Medicare “Patient Access Champion” awards to members of Congress, according to its IRS disclosures for those years. The AfPA annual report shows that 50 awards were presented. The awards appear to be a way to thank cooperative legislators while also pressuring them and others to enact the AfPA’s policy agenda. […]
Some say those awards […] shielded lawmakers from criticism for voting against Medicare cost controls, such as an independent rate-setting board and other measures.
The American Life Sciences Innovation Council, which awarded Blunt a similar “healthcare champion” award, isn’t the 501(c)(3) charitable, non-profit educational organization that it seems to be, but instead works to influence “the effects of government regulation on key factors that drive life science innovation,” which is to say, the bottom line of the medical and pharmaceutical companies whose creation it undoubtedly is. It spends the bulk of its income on activities such as robo-calls touting he “winners” of their awards, as well as mailers like the one above or newspaper ads pushing the same message (There have been several of these ads in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in recent months; I’d bet good money that they’ve appeared in other newspapers around the state.)
Upshot? It’s all fake. Senator Blunt is no healthcare hero or defender of Medicare. He’s just another good ol’ boy wallowing in the swamp.