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Daily Archives: Nov. 25, 2006
Nov. 25, 20061:02 a.m.
The pharmaceutical industry is wasting no time trying to protect its profits from the coming Democratic majority in Congress, the New York Times reported. Top company executives met this month to develop strategies to block attempts to allow the government to negotiate Medicare drug prices. The 2003 Medicare law, which was written and rammed through Congress by Republicans, prohibits the government from negotiating drug prices or establishing a list of preferred drugs.
The drug companies argue that price negotiations would lead to price controls and restrictions on access to drugs. But Democrats, and most of the public, see the lack of negotiations as a payoff for the $100 million a year that drug companies spend on lobbying, and a main reason the Medicare drug program costs taxpayers so much money.
Democrats also want to allow drug imports from Canada, encourage more generic drugs, and investigate drug profits and advertising.
Posted by Phillip Brownlee
Nov. 25, 20061:01 a.m.
“I don’t particularly like the effect that it has on politics,” former Kansas Republican Gov. John Anderson said about special-interest causes such as abortion.
Anderson, who was governor from 1961 to 1964, told the Topeka Capital-Journal that too many people forget government exists to serve broad public interests. “Change should be in the interests of the general public,” he said.
Posted by Phillip Brownlee
Nov. 25, 20061:00 a.m.
Retiring Kansas House Speaker Doug Mays, R-Topeka, may be right that “not more than 1 percent of people could tell you who the speaker is.” But he’s also right that “it’s unquestionably the second-most powerful political job in Kansas.”
Our editorial on Saturday’s Opinion page notes that no Wichitans are running for the top job — as usual — but commends those area lawmakers who are seeking leadership posts: Rep. Joe McLeland of Wichita, currently assistant majority leader, who is running for speaker pro tem; Rep. Steve Brunk of Wichita, current majority whip, and Rep. John Grange of El Dorado, who are vying to be assistant majority leader; and Rep. Jim Ward (in photo), D-Wichita, who is expected to remain assistant minority leader.
The well-qualified nominees to replace retiring House Speaker Doug Mays of Topeka are Rep. Melvin Neufeld of Ingalls, Mike O’Neal of Hutchinson and Kenny Wilk of Lansing. As we note, the winner “will make or break pieces of legislation — and determine whether Gov. Kathleen Sebelius’ big re-election win translates into a productive second term.”
Posted by Rhonda Holman