AOC Says, ‘I Blame Us — I Blame This Body’ for Health Care Not Being a Right During House Hearing

Star freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) was given the opportunity during Thursday’s House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing to criticize not just drug giant Gilead Sciences, but also the American health care system at large.

The committee held a hearing on drug pricing to examine a drug called Truvada that is used to treat HIV. During testimony, the CEO of Gilead argued that the government doesn’t own the patent for Truvada.

Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said during the hearing that the drug costs $2,000 a month and accused Gilead of using a monopoly to run the prices to an astronomical amount.

Ocasio-Cortez sounded off, saying that “this is about the system of incentives that we have set up” before reaming the U.S. system:

“I blame us, I blame this body because every single developed country in the world guarantees health care as a right except us — except the United States because we can’t get it together. Because we don’t have the fortitude to kick pharmaceutical lobbyists outside of our congressional offices.”

Here’s a clip of that exchange:

Ocasio-Cortez has been one of the loudest voices in the fight for “Medicare for All,” a policy that is now supported by almost all of the 2020 Democratic candidates.

This has been a good year for the Medicare for All movement. In late April, the House held its first-ever hearing on Medicare for All after Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) introduced a bill that would fund a national health insurance program that would be administered by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Of course, there’s almost no chance that a Medicare for All bill will actually pass in this Congress. Republicans control the Senate, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has been pretty open about the fact that he’s going to kill any bill he doesn’t like.

Responses

  1. I want Alexandria Obviously-Clueless to specifically state where in the Constitution, as amended, where it says that health care is a RIGHT.

    Then since Medicare is such a great medical plan I want her to be the first one to be on her Medicare for All. None of this Medicare for All except if you are in Congress or were ever in Congress like they did with Obozocare. I have Medicare and it sucks. It costs me a fortune and provides no coverage.

    As for the Department of Health and InHuman Services running anything, they are more screwed up than Social InSecurity.

    1. I don’t know. Maybe the part about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Course that’s the Bill of Rights not the Constitution so maybe I’m off topic. But we’re the only industrialized country where the right to treat people like a commodity is more important than a person’s right to breathe. Some would say that it is Self Evident, but for some reason we can’t seem to figure it out.

  2. So what is AOC doing with her newfound position to introduce legislation to add to or change the U.S. Constitution?

  3. Interesting that at least 4 IJR readers do not hold Congress responsible for allowing Gilead to bilk US citizens for research & development of a drug that the US taxpayers funded the R & D. WHO is it that would be responsible?

    1. Right sentiment, wrong excuse.

      This is an example of congitive dissonance. They see AOC’s name and picture and they KNOW that she must have done something with which they don’t like or agree. Just like Pavlov’s dogs, see AOC’s picture, must down vote article or comment.

      This process is automatic and they don’t even have to think about their actions or the repercussions from they themselves (or us) being ripped off. They aren’t confused. They are brainwashed just like being in a cult.

      1. I want a plan from every candidate how they plan to Make America SANE Again.

        1. I could make a suggestion as to where to look for some sanity, but you have already indicated that you disagree with many of their ideas. I probably can’t help you more with that because, sadly, there IS no other sane solution!

          You, basically, have three choices: the insanity on the right; the corrupt middle-ground; or the people on the left who seem to be the only ones willing to try things that deal with the mess that we have been in for at least the last 40 years. You have to make this choice based on what happens if we DON’T deal with this mess today.

          Are the Rs going to fix them? Get out of town.
          Are the corrupt Ds? None have so far.
          Who is left? Don’t get all confused by me, now.

          1. I want sanity, not fantasy. I do not want someone campaigning on something they can not deliver. I hear Bernie and a few others talk & and they might as well be campaigning on “World Peace.” You don’t cure insanity with campaign slogans that make as little sense as “Mexico will pay for the wall.” or “It’s a revolution.” If the D’s wish to follow the R’s in allowing the crazy fringe to take over the party, I’m back to being an Independent. You don’t cure insanity with more insanity.
            Susan Saradon & Bernie Bros could not support Hillary in 2016 because they believed she was the same as Trump. SERIOUSLY, tell me how Hillary would have appointed 2 more pro-corporate interest/anti-labor & anti-consumer SCOTUS Justices.—Justices that will still be on the court when I am gone. Tell me how Hillary would have removed all mentions of Climate Change from EPA policies. Tell me how Hillary would have gotten out of JCPOA or Paris Climate Accord? Tell me Hillary would have met with Putin and claimed to believe Russia did not interfere in the election. The damage to America done in the last 2 yrs is a permanent stain on this country. It can not be corrected with MORE INSANITY.

          2. While Hillary may not have gotten us INTO the insane messes Trump created, she also wouldn’t get us OUT of some of the systemic, chronic, insane corruption messes that still need to be untangled, either.

            Since the corrupt establishment can’t get their act together, I am willing to look further afield. There still will be enough establishment resistance, especially in the first new term, to curtail some of the left’s more avant garde proposals.

            To me, that is worth the risk. If you still don’t like what they have fixed in four years, I am sure there will be more changes made.

          3. Bernie Bros sound just like conservative media when it comes to Hillary. You folks live in a fantasy world where your ideas will be embraced by all if you are loud enough & obnoxious enough not to be ignored. Your “avant garde proposals” have the support of a small percentage of Democrats—a small percentage of Dems is not going to get your version of fixes, thru Congress. Trump destroyed the Republican Party & Justice Democrats are doing their best to destroy the Democrat Party. There already IS a Democrat Socialist Party. If we supported that platform, we would be registered in that party.

          4. You seem confused as to where the center of the American people (not the politicians) are. These are just the topics for which I currently have poll numbers.

            • ending our foreign wars and our outrageous military spending [86% say use miltary as the LAST resort]

            Bernie has been fighting this battle for about 4 DECADES! Check out his recent bill with Ro Khana, to get us out of Yemen.

            • ending our healthcare crisis, including mental health [Medicare For All 70%]

            You know what a mess we are in with this.

            • ending money in politics, including Citizens United, and the related corruption of most politicians [71% want campaign finance reform]

            Corruption everywhere!

            • ending reliance on carbon-based energy [81% want Green New Deal (new poll), 61% stop climate change (older poll)]
            • rebalancing the tax rates fairly and ending tax loopholes [59% want 70% marginal tax rate, 76% say tax the rich more, 67% say tax corporations more]
            • ending the national criminalization of marijuana / cannabis [62%]
            • breaking up the big banks [57%]
            • enshrining / protecting Roe vs Wade [69%]
            • dealing with the expense of education [60% want tuition-free public college]

            We used to have a version of this. The economics are compelling.

            • dealing with the flat wage growth since the 1980s [63% want living wages]

            Apparently, 36% don’t care what they earn.

            • fully refunding Social Security [72% say expand SS]
            • protecting net neutrality [83%]

            That’s what the majority of us think. How many of these issues are supported by the corrupt Republicans, the corrupt Democrats, progressives? I support the candidates that support the greatest number of people, such as me, and put me ahead of corporations. You know, like they are SUPPOSED to do.

            You mentioned the Justice Democrats. They fight the uphill battle against corruption head on. They aren’t allowed to take big PAC donations, etc. Who do you think they listen to more, their constituents or the corrupt machine? The Democratic establishment can’t stand the JDs because Justice Democrats (Just us) want to stop the river of money.

            Who can we trust more, some lazy politicians who pockets are routinely filled with dirty, even dark, money or someone who only gets small donations mainly from their own voters? I can’t wait to see who gets nominated as a Justice Democrat in round two.

          5. WHAT has Bernie accomplished “fighting this battle for 4 decades”?

            The federal minimum wage has not been increased since 2009 when it was raised to $7.25–with inflation that would be $6.19 in 2019. Has Bernie helped or hindered with his demand for $15? Certainly has NOT helped those earning minimum wage.

            Has the US aid for the Saudi war against Yemin ended? NO. Did Bernie’s bill have the votes to override Trump’s veto? No.

            I am not clear on the JD’s expectation of taking no corporate or big money donations. You want all D’s to play by a set of rules the R’s are not buying. The R’s can’t even agree to not use stolen info, so you can forget about playing by rules called for by someone they call “Crazy Bernie the Socialist.” In the event that you have not noticed, the R’s have no plans to pull money out of politics. There are huge sums in think tanks to come up with ways to convince folks to vote against their financial interests. How do you change that? Addelson, Mercers, Koch, DeVos, …

            WHY does it have to be the GND? Because it garnered so much support on conservative media? SOME of the items are reasonable & attainable goals. R’s operate on a practice of if 1 thing in the report they disagree with, then they disagree with ALL of the report. I don’t reject ALL of it or endorse ALL of it.

            I am curious about your Medicare for All numbers. Are you claiming that those who currently have employer healthcare plans wish to give it up for a tax increase? The employees of commercial insurance corp wish their jobs to go away? You must agree that is hard to find credible.

            You act as if a candidate CLAIMS to fund his own campaign or only take small donations that the politician is honest. I heard that bullpucky from Trump in the primary. How did that work out for you? How did it work out for John McCain?

            General, I am 67 yrs old. I am too old to believe in fairy tales and magical fixes not matter what side of the aisle it is coming.

          6. It takes more than one person to get a bill passed and big, systemic changes can’t be done easily with a split Congress, but there will be more JDs soon. I will play this long game.

          7. You got states in mind to produce 60 JD Senators? Scratch PA off your list. When Carville called PA “Philly and Pittsburgh with Alabama in between” he nailed it. Being PA has NEVER had a woman US Senator or Governor, AL might be a bit more in the 21 century than PA. Keep in mind that Bernie lost the Dem Primary here by 12%. It wasn’t close despite his pre-election claims.

            Bernie was in the Senate in 2009-10 and they had 59 D’s. They passed Obamacare and FOX News convinced their viewers it was SOCIALISM with DEATH PANELS. What do you perceive they will do with Medicare for all? In 2010, R’s gained 63 seats in the House and 6 Senate seats over a healthcare plan that was subsidies to buy COMMERCIAL INSURANCE. .So you will have to do it quick because you won’t have control for more than 2 yrs.

            If Bernie has been fighting this battle for 4 decades, define “long game.” 40 more years?

          8. YOU are far from being an Independent. YOU are so pro-Left, pro-Socialism and anti-growth under the present competent political leadership in the WH. It’s not difficult to recognize your political leaning with the repeated slandering of OUR duly elected President and his many, many accomplishments since January 2017. I understand; but do not share your hatred of OUR President. Conversely, Americans were warned about Barry Hussein Soetoro prior to him becoming illegitimate #44 and were advised to NOT vote for him because of his Marxism, his having been radicalized by studying/teaching/following Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” and (reportedly his favorite), Karl Marx’s “Communist Manifesto”. Barry was never vetted as Trump is still being at this moment. His birthplace was never revealed; his legal name was never used; his (Indonesian) citizenship was never revealed and his anti-American, destructive agenda was never revealed. His time in the WH only proved how unqualified, unfit and inept he really was.

          9. James, read my post to the General. Does it sound as if I fit into the Trump party? NO Does it sound as if I fit in the General’s Justice Democrat Party? NO. I am a realist–I don’t waste my time with wacky conspiracies or fantasy policy proposals. I AM A DEMOCRAT! If the D’s go far left, I will return to my Independent status from 2003-2008.

          10. Is it not those on the Left who are wanting and planning on taking America BACKWARDS into massive failures and failed political philosophies; namely SOCIALISM? It is clearly written everywhere. Read the campaign rhetoric of the 20, 30 or 50 candidates running to try and defeat Trump in 2020. They all have the same, identical stench of Socialism in everything being proposed. It doesn’t even resemble the America I remember from just a year ago. There is NOT one candidate who has a single solitary idea of what or how to improve the lives of Americans over and above that which Trump has already accomplished; NOT one. With the likes of Communist AOC spewing her vitriol and kindergarten level stupidity (plus Bernie Sanders rehashed BS) the Left is well on its’ way to a final, well deserved demise.

            American voters need to wake up and look at what is now – prosperity, growth, employment, happiness under competent leadership in the WH – and what could be – a North American Venezuela and Cuban “utopia” where adults are eating other parents children to keep body and soul together! WAKE UP!

          11. James, you expose your ignorance in every post that you mention socialism.

            You are obviously confused by the differences between socialism, democratic socialism, communism, and most likely fascism, and it seems that you have no intention of ever clarifying the differences in your mind.

            Give us a break and, in your free time, go take a course about them.

          12. James, I am always perplexed as to why you concern yourself with who is running for the D nominations. You are voting for Trump. We get that. Those who are NOT are looking at our choices in 2020 I am not likely to take advice from someone who holds such crazy, unfounded beliefs. If you wish to attempt to convince someone to support Trump, tone it down.

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