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Paid political letter: Why was award given to Hagedorn?

Here’s a puzzle. Why did Representative Hagedorn get an award from the nonprofit Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease?

He certainly has not worked to help people with chronic diseases afford care. In fact, he vigorously campaigned against a major federal law that protects people with chronic diseases. He wants the law tossed out, and with it goes protections against insurers turning people down, charging people more or limiting the benefits paid out for care.   

Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease says Rep. Hagedorn supported H.R. 19. But he was just one of over 100 co-sponsors, and the bill never passed. H.R. 19, however, was the version of the prescription drug legislation which did not include allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices with drug companies. Rep. Hagedorn vehemently opposes allowing Medicare to use its bulk buying power for prescription drugs, even though Medicare uses that same bulk buying power to set limits on reimbursements for medical procedures. He remains opposed even knowing that we pay two to three times as much for our drugs as people in other countries where their governments negotiate for them.

The solution to the puzzle is that drug companies support and influence Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease. Rep. Hagedorn received an award from them because they want to keep him in office where he can continue to protect drug company profits. The question is, do we want to keep him in office?

Diane Hanson

Rochester