I think the Democrats are on a path to win the presidency and hold on to the House whether they run a Centrist or a Progressive. That said, a Progressive can only lose if they must fight both Centrists and Republicans. A Centrist can lose with triangulation.
Progressive policy polls way north of 50% of all voters. It is what will bring out Millennials, Gen Zs, and Young Gen Xs. A unified progressive message will also bring in Independents and thinking Republicans as they realize their personal economies would improve. This what I have observed empirically and it coincides with polls.
A Centrist is easily triangulated. With one tweet, Trump has already triangulated Pelosi’s Big Pharma-written “Lower Drug Costs Now Act” (H.R. 3). Pelosi’s bill is unnecessarily complicated, only supports negotiating 25 drugs per year, and excludes drugs that have “competition.”
Democrats complicate drug pricing.
Common Dreams reported the following about the bill.
Here are some additional observations that we think should drive the legislative conversation:
- While it authorizes the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to negotiate on up to 250 brand-name drugs, H.R. 3 states that the HHS can’t be expected to negotiate more than 25 drugs a year, which means that millions of Americans will be allowed to continue to suffer and die before negotiations even start on dozens of other medications that are essential to their health. Meanwhile, new drugs will come to market and be added to the queue for negotiation so that someday we, in the richest country in the history of the world, might somehow be able to afford our medication. We can, and must, do better
- It is smart for H.R. 3 to include a set of punitive measures as leverage at the negotiating table. But while the bill proposes fines and rebates against companies that refuse to negotiate in good faith or raise prices ex-post facto, the reality is these are back-end fixes. This does little good for patients having trouble paying for their prescriptions on the front end and who may suffer or die by the time a company is finally forced to pay fines and rebates. We can’t wait for relief to maybe come in a few years, and certainly not diluted as it trickles down through a legal process into programs like Medicare
- The bill designates the Secretary of HHS to negotiate with industry on drug prices. Right now that would mean entrusting Alex Azar—former president of Eli Lilly, a company that controls around one-third of the global insulin market—to negotiate the best price on insulin for patients. Furthermore, in the case of a drug like insulin—developed in a public lab almost a century ago by scientists who sold their US patents for $1 each in hopes of maintaining affordability in perpetuity—the best price would be free, with the next-best price below cost. Negotiation is not the best we can do—especially in the context of the revolving door between government and Big Pharma
- H.R. 3 sets parameters for negotiation only for drugs that have no market competition, while the FDA’s own studies have shown that we only get competitive prices when a drug has multiple competitors on the market
- Public research and development capacity, as well as manufacturing capacity, would give us much more leverage at the negotiating table. What’s happening in the United Kingdom right now is a cautionary tale: Its National Health Service has been negotiating the price of a new cystic fibrosis drug, Orkambi, for more than three and a half years since the drug has been approved for market. But the company won’t budge, and it’s the sole producer of this medication. In the meantime, there have been more than 255 recorded deaths of patients who could have benefitted from the drug. With public R&D and production, we’d have real leverage and a far stronger position at the negotiating table. If the industry doesn’t want to concede prices that work for the whole of America, we can make the drugs ourselves
Trump’s tweet/FB Message makes drug price reduction simple. Whether he will ultimately do it is unknown, but the triangulation is on. But we should note that Cory Booker voted against importing cheaper drugs.
Secretary Azar and I will soon release a plan to let Florida and other States import prescription drugs that are MUCH CHEAPER than what we have now! Hard-working Americans don’t deserve to pay such high prices for the drugs they need. We are fighting DAILY to make sure this HAPPENS. While we had the first prescription drug price decrease in 50 years, Americans still pay far too much for drugs – other countries pay far less – that is WRONG! We will soon be putting more options on the table. Pelosi and her Do Nothing Democrats drug pricing bill doesn’t do the trick. FEWER cures! FEWER treatments! Time for the Democrats to get serious about bipartisan solutions to lowering prescription drug prices for families. House Republicans are showing real LEADERSHIP and prepared to enact bipartisan solutions for drug prices. Do Nothing Democrats are playing partisan politics with YOUR drug prices! We are READY to work together if they actually want to get something done!
Because of positions that Centrists are taking I can see Trump doing this over and over with our different identity groups. Remember, he does not need a majority, just a bit from each. He is doing it with black men. After Bidens Trumpian-disregard of a recent Latino audience, I can see a very effective Trump ad using Biden’s own words, Klobuchar’s own words, Bennet’s own words, and others.
The Republican task is much easier. They just need to throw things out. Progressives must deprogram the mind away from the Powell Memo, neutralize those in their flank that are wards of the plutocracy, and then inform on the beneficial policy.