Kyrsten Sinema Was For Lowering Prescription Drug Prices Before She Was Against It
It's time for your regularly scheduled Kyrsten Sinema Sucks post.
Look, I don't enjoy this any more than you do. I donated money to her 2018 campaign I could've spent on booze. However, Sinema delivered an “ultimatum" to President Joe Biden Monday — yes, a first-term senator born after Biden's first term is dropping ultimatums — and it threatens to derail his entire Build Back Better agenda.
MODS TO BIDEN: BIF NOW OR BUST — Sen. KYRSTEN SINEMA (D-Ariz.) delivered a tough message to President JOE BIDEN at a private meeting Wednesday, we're told: If the House delays its scheduled Sept. 27 vote on the bipartisan infrastructure plan — or if the vote fails — she won't be backing a reconciliation bill.
Sinema and other Dem centrists have tried to play the okey doke on infrastructure, which Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi specifically promised would occur on two-tracks — one that's delightfully bipartisan and another more ambitious one that addresses the climate crisis and provides child care for working families. The latter can pass on a simple majority vote in the Senate, but Biden has 48 Democrats and two chucklefucks who'll determine if that adds up to 50.
Joe Manchin from West Virginia suggests taking a “strategic pause" on the reconciliation bill and wait until 2022 to act. That's only strategic if you're Senate
Majority Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Sinema also isn't happy with the reconciliation bill because it contains way too many Democratic priorities, even though she's technically a Democrat. She reminds me of someone I knew who said she loved “authentic Italian food" but when she went on a trip to Italy she complained about every item on every menu at every restaurant. Lady, maybe you don't like “authentic Italian food." Maybe you're OK with Olive Garden.
Politico's White House correspondent Laura Barrón-López revealed that “in another sign of trouble for Democrats ... Sinema has also told the White House she opposes the Democrats' prescription drug plan." Lady, maybe you just don't like major Democratic policies, beyond performatively tweeting inspirational quotes from Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Oh, the Politico piece features an AP photo of Sinema adjusting her glasses like some Harry Potter villain. This is apparently what Sinema wants for her life. She might even tank both infrastructure bills and McConnell will plug her back into the Matrix where she'll enjoy the good life. Ignorance is truly bliss.
Look, Manchin is a lifelong blue dog Democrat and corporate stooge. However, Sinema literally campaigned on lowering prescription drug prices. She tweeted in 2018:
We need to make health care more affordable, lower prescription drug prices, and fix the problems in the system – not go back to letting insurance companies call all the shots.
It's possible a lot changed in the past three years, but Sinema owes it to the
suckers people who helped elect her to explain this sudden about face. She could at least reply to her previous tweet with a sheepish “My Bad! Sick people are deadbeats. Insurance companies should call all the shots."
I'm willing to accept responsibility for not reading the fine print in 2018 and assuming Sinema would prioritize her constituents' continued reproductive freedom and voting rights over the filibuster. But I seriously believed she'd support lower prescription drug prices when she said “we need to lower prescription drug prices."
Sinema is perhaps jumping on the same pathetic bandwagon as Democratic House Reps. Scott Peters from California, Kurt Schrader from Oregon, and Kathleen Rice from New York. They all blinked when the pharmaceutical industry claimed it might plumb forget how to innovate if the House passed what Slate described as an "aggressive mechanism for making sure drug manufacturers complied with negotiated prices."
According to Political Wire, Sinema also opposes the three centrist Democrats' pared-back alternative that would limit the drugs subject to Medicare negotiation. That's not a surprise, because Kyrsten Sinema sucks.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."