Today, the House Oversight Committee is holding an important hearing entitled "The Role of Pharmacy…
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House Hearing Spotlights Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) as Drivers of Higher Drug Prices

Today, the House Oversight Committee is holding an important hearing entitled "The Role of Pharmacy Benefit Managers in Prescription Drug Markets Part III:  Transparency and Accountability."

For those unfamiliar, Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) amount to middlemen that control prescription drugs for millions of Americans.  A majority of Americans receive health insurance through employer plans or government programs such as Medicare, which in turn cover prescription drugs through PBMs.  Those PBMs negotiate with drug companies and pay pharmacies, but throughout the process determine the drugs that insured patients may obtain and at what cost.

The problem is that PBMs operate in such an opaque and complex manner that they're able to inflate drug costs while claiming to be working…[more]

July 23, 2024 • 04:57 PM

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On Iran, Joe Biden Worse Than Jimmy Carter Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, June 13 2024
Despite Iran’s continuing violations and support for international terrorism like the October 7 attacks on Israel, Biden wants to decrease pressure on Iran, not increase it.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accepted an invitation to address Congress next month, at which time he’ll highlight the metastasizing global perils threatening Israel and the United States alike.  

It will mark the second time that Netanyahu has addressed Congress, following his 2015 appearance in which he presciently warned of the growing threat from Iran.  

Although welcomed by Congress, Netanyahu has endured far less diplomatic treatment from the White House.  

Specifically, Biden and his political allies have in recent weeks openly advocated Israeli regime change to topple Netanyahu, never mind Biden’s promise during the 2020 campaign to return civility and stability to the White House.  

Time will tell whether Netanyahu engages in turnabout by encouraging Americans to initiate their own regime change this November, but he’s far more likely to refrain from the tawdry behavioral pattern that Biden and his deputies cannot seem to resist.  

In any event, Netanyahu’s address amplifies the issue of Iranian misconduct, and by implication Biden’s gross mismanagement of Iran policy.  

The regrettable reality is that Biden’s incompetence regarding Iran now exceeds even Jimmy Carter’s, whose inglorious legacy was shaped largely by his own failures.  

At least Carter could claim that he faced novel and shocking behavior by Iran, with no obvious solution.  

Biden, in contrast, possesses the lessons of four decades of Iranian malfeasance, but nevertheless deliberately pursues policies that were tried and subsequently discredited by his boss Barack Obama.  

In just the latest example, in recent days reports emerged that Biden administration officials actually pressured allies to go easy on Iran and refrain from sanctioning it for continuing nuclear weaponry transgressions:  

The Biden administration is pressing European allies to back off plans to rebuke Iran for advances in its nuclear program, even as it expands its stockpile of near-weapons-grade fissile material to a record level, according to diplomats involved in discussions.  The U.S. is arguing against any effort by Britain and France to censure Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency’s member state board meeting in June, the diplomats said.  The U.S. has pressed a number of other countries to abstain in a censure vote, saying that is what Washington will do, they said…  

European diplomats have warned that failure to take action would undermine the authority of the IAEA, which polices nonproliferation of nuclear weapons.  They say it also weakens the credibility of Western pressure on Iran.  And they are frustrated over what they see as U.S. efforts to undermine their approach.  

Sometimes, news headlines of that sort seem so preposterous that they must be from a parody website like Babylon Bee.  

Sadly not, in this instance.  

Despite Iran’s continuing violations and support for international terrorism like the October 7 attacks on Israel, Biden wants to decrease pressure on Iran, not increase it.  In what logical universe does that make sense?  

The tragedy deepens considering that the Trump administration provided a blueprint on how to effectively contain Iran.  

When Trump entered the White House, he began what was labeled a “maximum pressure” strategy of imposing strict sanctions against Iran, including its oil exports.  As a consequence, Iran’s oil export revenues plummeted from $53 billion in 2018 to $22 billion in 2019, and down to just $12.7 billion in 2020, less than 25% of its total just two years earlier.  

Inexplicably and indefensibly, however, Biden ended that maximum pressure campaign and returned to the Obama administration’s soft approach toward Iran.  After Trump had reduced Iranian oil revenues to $12.7 billion in 2020, they quickly rose to $30 billion in 2021 and then $43 billion in 2022.  

During that same period of greater accommodation by the Biden administration, Iran’s nuclear efforts have only accelerated, and it has applied its increasing resources and influence toward supporting terrorist proxies like Hamas in their October 7 attack on Israel.  

Throughout his administration, Biden has also overseen shrinking U.S. military budgets and undermined U.S. energy dominance, both of which benefit Iran.  

As it relates to Prime Minister Netanyahu, it’s also important to note that under Joe Biden’s watch Iran directly attacked Israel for the first time in history.  And what was Biden’s response?  To lecture Israel not to retaliate.  

As the Biden presidency has progressed and disasters accumulated, parody stories have proliferated on how Jimmy Carter is grateful to have lived long enough to witness Biden surpass him as the worst president in his lifetime.  

Whether Biden or Carter is the worse presidential failure remains an open question.  Increasingly beyond debate, however, is the emerging reality that when it comes to mismanaging Iran policy, Biden surpasses even Carter.

Notable Quote   
 
"The astonishing political events of the last four weeks make plain, once again, how much of America's history depends on what voters have come to accept as the choice of one person: each presidential nominee's choice of a vice presidential candidate. Even as the nomination process was expanded, half a century ago, to include millions of primary voters, the choice of the vice presidential nominee…[more]
 
 
— Michael Barone, Senior Political Analyst for the Washington Examiner and Longtime Co-Author of The Almanac of American Politics
 
Liberty Poll   

Should Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle be fired for the agency's unconscionable failures regarding the assassination attempt on President Trump?