Originally published at: Pluralistic: 11 Aug 2022 – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow
- A dark money group is lying about Medicare cuts: Who the fuck are the "American Prosperity Alliance?"
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A dark money group is lying about Medicare cuts (permalink)
The "American Prosperity Alliance" does not exist, except as an anonymously controlled bank account that has paid for the production and dissemination of a slick ad that spreads the falsehood that the Democrats have cut $300b from Medicare:
Let me repeat: this is a lie. What "Americans for Prosperity" is talking about here is a provision in the bill that allows Medicare to negotiate drug prices, rather than simply paying whatever Big Pharma wants to charge. This practice is why Americans pay more for their drugs than, say, Canadians:
To be clear: the new bill will curb the eye-water public price-gouging that Big Pharma enjoys, and halt the transfer of $300b in public money to pharma companies' shareholders, by allowing Medicare to bargain to get prices similar to those paid by other governments in countries like Australia, Canada, and the UK.
There is no universe in which this a $300b cut to Medicare. It's like the Dems have pledged to halt $300b in fraud and the American Prosperity Alliance went to the country's elderly and sick and screamed: "They're cutting your benefits!" In fact, it's not like that – it is that.
Who the fuck are the American Prosperity Alliance? No one knows. They're a dark money group. Their website consists of a link to their deceptive ad, a form to sign up for their mailing list…and nothing else.
As Lou Jacobson writes for Politifact/Kaiser Health News, this is just the latest version of a torrent of dark money disinformation that makes this claim.
For example, the West Virginia TV ad from the Center for Innovation and Free Enterprise (CIFE) in which an elderly woman was literally condemned to die by her doctor, who explained that it was all because the Democrats were going to negotiate drug prices:
(CIFE claims to be for "free markets," which, apparently, is a system whereby a cartel of multinationals who rely on government-issued monopolies – AKA 'patents' – get to demand literally any sum from the federal government and are assured of receiving it.)
As @Robillard and @CitizenCohn wrote for @HuffPost, similar claims came from "America Next," @AmerComm and "The 60-Plus Association" (which is like a far-right prepper version of the AARP). All of them have historically taken money from @Phrma, the lobby group for Big Pharma.
The disinformation would be laughable if it wasn't so depraved. Telling old people that giving Medicare an extra $300b to spend on patients is a $300b cut to care is straight-up lying – and thanks to the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, the dark money cowards funding the American Prosperity Alliance get to lurk in the shadows. If they're so committed to "American Prosperity," why do they need to disguise their identities? Is it that they are planning a big reveal later that we'll all be delighted by and they just don't want to spoil the surprise?
The irony here is that the Medicare spending curbs in the Inflation Reduction Act are incredibly weaksauce, barely denting pharma's profiteering. As @ThomasNeuburger writes, this only kicks in as of 2026, and it only affects ten drugs.
Neuburger is citing a summary from @thehill, which adds that this provision only applies to drugs that are have been around for at least nine years (13 years for biologics):
The number of affected drugs climbs to 20 after another five years. That means that, starting in a decade, Medicare will be able to negotiate prices on 20 drugs – out of 20,000. This plan won't bring down the prices of the most notoriously jacked-up medicine, including #insulin, #Eliquis, and #Humira, a drug that was repeatedly re-patented through useless "formulation changes" that were designed by @McKinsey, who designed a program that gave away Iphones to @abbvie scientists who came up with useless molecular changes as part of a perpetual patent scheme:
In other words, Big Pharma has given up almost nothing in this bill, and they are still running around, lying their heads off like they had just been nationalized by Party Secretary Biden and had all their top scientists sent north to work on re-education farms.
Grumpy Puddin (modified)
Hey look at this (permalink)
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Growing an Appreciation for Plants https://www.bunniestudios.com/blog/?p=6481
Brooklyn Bar Menu Generator https://www.brooklynbarmenus.com (h/t Nelson Minar)
This day in history (permalink)
#10yrsago Beck’s new album is sheet-music only https://www.mcsweeneys.net/pages/song-reader
#10yrsago WIPO’s Broadcasting Treaty is back: a treaty to end the public domain, fair use and Creative Commons https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2012/08/negotiations-2014-wipo-broadcasting-treaty-are-back
#10yrsago Pussy Riot’s closing statement https://olenskae.tumblr.com/post/29137327674/yekaterina-samutsevich-closing-statement-at-the
#5yrsago Ajit Pai just stacked the FCC’s advisory panel with dingo babysitters from big telcoms https://www.thedailybeast.com/almost-all-of-fccs-new-advisory-panel-works-for-telecoms
#5yrsago 20 year old advice on helping people with computers is still relevant todayhttps://pages.gseis.ucla.edu/faculty/agre/how-to-help.html
#5yrsago 7 years later, Sun Microsystems cofounder Vinod Khosla loses bid to privatize public beach https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/aug/10/martins-beach-california-public-vinod-khosla
#5yrsago Wells Fargo also gouged small businesses on credit-card fees https://consumerist.com/2017/08/11/wells-fargo-accused-of-overcharging-small-businesses/
#1yrago IRS leaks reveal billions reaped through ultra-wealthy lobbying on the tax bill https://pluralistic.net/2021/08/11/the-canada-variant/#shitty-man-of-history-theory
#1yrago Canada's got the world's worst internet ideas https://pluralistic.net/2021/08/11/the-canada-variant/#no-canada
Today's top sources: Naked Capitalism (https://nakedcapitalism.com/).
- The Bezzle, a Martin Hench noir thriller novel about the prison-tech industry. Yesterday's progress: 516 words (31260 words total)
The Internet Con: How to Seize the Means of Computation, a nonfiction book about interoperability for Verso. Yesterday's progress: 502 words (27452 words total)
Picks and Shovels, a Martin Hench noir thriller about the heroic era of the PC. (92849 words total) – ON PAUSE
A Little Brother short story about DIY insulin PLANNING
Vigilant, Little Brother short story about remote invigilation. FIRST DRAFT COMPLETE, WAITING FOR EXPERT REVIEW
Moral Hazard, a short story for MIT Tech Review's 12 Tomorrows. FIRST DRAFT COMPLETE, ACCEPTED FOR PUBLICATION
Spill, a Little Brother short story about pipeline protests. FINAL DRAFT COMPLETE
A post-GND utopian novel, "The Lost Cause." FINISHED
A cyberpunk noir thriller novel, "Red Team Blues." FINISHED
Currently reading: Analogia by George Dyson.
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- DEFCON 30 (Las Vegas), Aug 13
Talking "Radicalized" with the Building Bridges for America Book Club, Aug 15
Launch for Motherboard's Terraform anthology, Vice offices (Los Angeles), Aug 18
Radical Interoperability: An Internet Disassembly Manual, Aug 29 15h (Burning Man Center Camp)
Chokepoint Capitalism: a Better Deal for Creative Labor, Aug 30, 13h (Burning Man Palenque Norte, 915 and B)
Interview with Bunnie Huang on the Precursor and Trusting Trust, Aug 31, 12h (Burning Man Liminal Labs, 945 and Rod's)
Unfinished Live (NYC), Sept 21-24
- DRM Secretly Polices You (Daily Tech News Show)
Bricking Tractors (Inside Agri-Turf)
Blockchain, Bitcoin & Selling The Brooklyn Bridge (MMT Podcast):
- "Attack Surface": The third Little Brother novel, a standalone technothriller for adults. The Washington Post called it "a political cyberthriller, vigorous, bold and savvy about the limits of revolution and resistance." Order signed, personalized copies from Dark Delicacies https://www.darkdel.com/store/p1840/Available_Now%3A_Attack_Surface.html
"How to Destroy Surveillance Capitalism": an anti-monopoly pamphlet analyzing the true harms of surveillance capitalism and proposing a solution. https://onezero.medium.com/how-to-destroy-surveillance-capitalism-8135e6744d59 (print edition: https://bookshop.org/books/how-to-destroy-surveillance-capitalism/9781736205907) (signed copies: https://www.darkdel.com/store/p2024/Available_Now%3A__How_to_Destroy_Surveillance_Capitalism.html)
"Little Brother/Homeland": A reissue omnibus edition with a new introduction by Edward Snowden: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250774583; personalized/signed copies here: https://www.darkdel.com/store/p1750/July%3A__Little_Brother_%26_Homeland.html
"Poesy the Monster Slayer" a picture book about monsters, bedtime, gender, and kicking ass. Order here: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781626723627. Get a personalized, signed copy here: https://www.darkdel.com/store/p2682/Corey_Doctorow%3A_Poesy_the_Monster_Slayer_HB.html#/.
- Chokepoint Capitalism: How to Beat Big Tech, Tame Big Content, and Get Artists Paid, with Rebecca Giblin, nonfiction/business/politics, Beacon Press, September 2022
Red Team Blues: "A grabby, compulsive thriller that will leave you knowing more about how the world works than you did before." Tor Books, April 2023
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