Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) is feeling empowered in his new job as chairman of the Senate health committee. Having campaigned for president on a progressive platform with a goal to even the playing field between rich and poor, Sanders now sees one area where the increasingly divided American public are in agreement: No American wants sky-high prescription drug prices — and that’s what we’ve got.
Sanders believes high drug prices are the common enemy of all Americans, wherever they reside on the political spectrum:
“Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Progressives, Conservatives,” says Sanders, “the American people are quite united. You know what they’re saying? Take on the greed of the pharmaceutical industry.”
I don't care if it's Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Progressives, Conservatives — the American people are quite united. You know what they're saying? Take on the greed of the pharmaceutical industry. Don't cut Social Security. pic.twitter.com/uKWODLZKfJ— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) January 29, 2023
In another interview about how he’ll use his new position, Sanders told Axios that he’ll be “very aggressive” on drug prices.
The Senate health committee Sanders now chairs is fully titled the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, or HELP. Sanders has been a member of the committee since 2007, but became chair this year. “My job is to listen to the needs of the American people, not the industry,” he says of his role as chair.
Sanders is in position to take on Big Pharma and “greed” on drug pricing. But that’s not his only target, nor the only common enemy he feels the American people can unite behind.
Sanders is also taking aim at greed in another industry that’s clearly hurting Americans. Given the country’s love of cars, Sanders senses he may be able to unite divided Americans on regulating the oil industry too, where the enormous profits are coming directly from family drives to the supermarket and the ball game.
While working families struggled to pay outrageously high gas prices last year, Chevron made a record $35.5 billion in profits & will spend $75 billion to manipulate its stock price in order to make the rich even richer. We must ban stock buybacks & enact a windfall profits tax.— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) January 28, 2023