The price of a life-saving drug that can reverse an opioid overdose is soaring, just as the Obama administration and Congressare pushing to make it more available.
The rising price for naloxone is causing some emergency response departments to run out of the drug, while many public health groups are growing short of the cash needed to buy it and must rely on donations. It also means two public health crises are colliding — the politically charged debate about high drug prices and the growing concern about lethal addiction.
Prices of some versions of the drug have risen as much as 17-fold in the past two years.
But Harlan is still waiting for its own backup plan. Past boarded-up stores, pawnshops, and an abandoned tattoo parlor, a new pizza parlor sells alcohol and memories. The walls of Portal are lined with maps of old coal camps and black-and-white photos of miners. Every night, it plays the same song to close: In the deep dark hills of eastern Kentucky. That’s the place where I trace my bloodline. And it’s there I read on a hillside gravestone. You will never leave Harlan alive.
Not a single Democrat has filed in my Congressional District. My Congressman (Hal Rogers) is one of the most corrupt, useless and inept politicians in Congress and deserves to be challenged. Eastern Kentucky needs real change, not more of the same!
In the 1980s, the military had its infamous $800 toilet seat. Today, it has a $17,000 drip pan.
Thanks to a powerful Kentucky congressman who has steered tens of millions of federal dollars to his district, the Army has bought about $6.5 million worth of the “leakproof” drip pans in the last three years to catch transmission fluid on Black Hawk helicopters. And it might want more from the Kentucky company that makes the pans, even though a similar pan from another company costs a small fraction of the price: about $2,500.
The purchase shows the enduring power of earmarks, even though several scandals have prompted efforts in Congress to rein them in. And at a time when the Pentagon is facing billions of dollars in cutbacks — which include shrinking the Army, trimming back purchases of fighter jets and retiring warships — the eye-catching price tag for a small part has provoked sharp criticism.
The Kentucky company, Phoenix Products, got the job to produce the pans after Representative Harold Rogers, a Republican who is now the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, added an earmark to a 2009 spending bill. While the earmark came before restrictions were placed on such provisions for for-profit companies, its outlays have continued for the last three years.
The company’s owners are political contributors to the congressman, who has been called the “Prince of Pork” by The Lexington Herald-Leader for his history of delivering federal contracts to donors and others back home.
In April, Harold – who’s the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee – wrote in praise of $1.6 billion in cuts to funding for commerce, justice, and science appropriations, which he said represented “our commitment to restoring austerity, restraint and thoughtfulness to the appropriations process.”
From the Statement of FAA Administrator Michael Huerta to House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Subcommittee on Aviation:
The sequester is looming, and massive budget cuts are set to go into effect just two days from now.
I want to make a clear distinction about how sequestration differs from previous government shutdowns that have been caused by failure to pass a budget, or by the temporary lapse in our authorization in July 2011.
First, almost all of our FAA accounts would be affected. Therefore, this would affect almost all of our employees.
We are looking at all options to reduce costs. We’re looking at a hiring freeze, and at cutting contracts and travel and other items not related to day-to-day operations. But, to reach the large figure we need to cut, we have little choice but to make up the rest through furloughing employees. This is not something that we take lightly.
Unlike a government shutdown, under the sequester, almost all of our employees would be affected, even what we would traditionally call “essential personnel.” The vast majority of our employees, including “essential workers” would have to be furloughed.
Under sequestration our flexibility is very limited because we must cut proportionately from all affected accounts. We can’t move money around and we have limited flexibility to choose what it is that we’re able to cut.
Now a very large portion of the DOT’s budget is exempt from the sequester. What this means is that the FAA will take more than 60 percent of the sequester cuts for all of the DOT, even though our agency makes up only about 20 percent of the department’s budget. Now, within the FAA, the airport grant program also is exempt from the sequester. So this again limits the choices we have on where to cut the money.
Finally, we have a very short time frame to make the bulk of these massive cuts–about six months. And that means the cuts would need to be deeper to have the same effect as if we could spread them out.
Having spent over a year at school in Kentucky, and having known many Kentuckians in my life, I can safely assert that this attention deficit afflicion is not common to all the people of the state. So what’s wrong with these two?