Would you pay $50,000 a month for a prescription drug?

Many people who live with “orphan diseases” must pay thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars on their medications to survive. Many of their medications have outrageous prices and currently many of the pharmaceutical companies are allowed to do this even under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

microbeadsOne of those drugs is Procysbi. What is Procysbi? What is it used to treat? How much does it cost? Should it cost that much? These are the questions that I will answer in this post. They are also questions that are continually being asked because I cannot fully answer them.

Procysbi was created to treat nephropathic cystinosis, the “orphan disease” that I have spoken about many times in this blog. Nephropathic cystinosis is a rare genetic disorder in which the amino acid cystine rises to toxic levels, which results in irreversible tissue and organ damage if left untreated even for a short time. Cystinosis commonly affects many parts of the body including the kidneys, eyes, mouth and throat, liver, thyroid, and other organs (Orphan Disease).


Procysbi has the same active ingredient as Cystagon (cysteamine bitartrate), which is the immediate-release from of the main treatment for nephropathic cystinosis. Procysbi has an enteric coating over the active ingredient. The active ingredient cysteamine bitartrate forces a metabolic transformation of cystine into cysteine and cysteine-cysteamine mixed disulfide compound. This creates a way for both cysteine and cysteine-cysteamine disulfide to exit the lysosomes in cystinosis patients (Morrow)

This new form of cysteamine bitartrate was only recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2013. Before Procysbi, cystinosis patients only had the choice of taking the immediate-release form which was approved by the FDA in 1994.

The new drug Procysbi, was studied in six clinical research trials. However, it was the third trial that claimed,

Procysbi administered every 12 hours was non-inferior to immediate-release cysteamine bitartrate administered every six hours (Morrow).”

The researchers found that the most common side effects of this drug were vomiting, abdominal pain/discomfort, headaches, breath odor, fatigue, dizziness, skin odor, and rash. Personally, I experience several of these side effects on a daily basis (Morrow).

On average, the price of Procysbi is $250,000 a year or a 2,400% increase, compared to the original drug, Cystagon. The average cost of Cystagon is $10,000 a year (Carroll). However, my health insurance pays $50,000 per month for Procysbi. This is probably because I take a larger dose compared to the average patient. Thus, my health insurance pays about $600,000 a year just for that one medication (Myself from my Medicare bills).

Raptor's Headquarters
Raptor’s Headquarters

Therefore, debate has risen around the cost of this medication and whether it is ethical to charge so much. According to Christopher Starr, co-founder and chief executive of Raptor said that the price reflects that value of the drug and the need to recoup Raptor’s development costs (Pollack). However, if you look at the company’s regulatory filings, the company spent $37.4 million on research and development of Procysbi, and their total expenses in that period were $110 million (Pollack). Nevertheless, within the first year after approval experts said that they could expect sales to exceed $100 million annually (Pollack).  That has already happened and they even make more, especially from myself and my health insurance.

Unfortunately, because of the cost being so high for Procysbi, insurance companies might being to stop covering it. Even a recent survey of 50 insurers and pharmacy benefit managers by J.P. Morgan found that drugs for rare diseases are increasingly subject to scrutiny and possible restrictions on use (Pollack).

You health insurance might be paying for drugs that cost up to $50,000 if you do live with an “orphan disease.” However, it is becoming more difficult to prove the ethics behind increasing the price of a drug by 2,000%, especially when health insurance companies are beginning to look at restricting the amounts of those drugs or just not covering them. Procysbi is used to treat cystinosis, and it is very expensive. The debate continues on whether it is ethical for it to cost so much.

Works Cited

Carroll, John. “Raptor’s orphan drug-win at FDA overshadowed by debate over steep price,” fiercebiotech.com, Biotech Industry’s Daily Monitor, 1 May 2013. Web. 2 Nov. 2015.

Morrow, Thomas MD. “Do comparable Efficacy & Convenient Dosing Justify Procysbi’s Extremely High Price,” managedcaremag.com. Managed Care, July 2013. Web 2 Nov. 2015.

Pollack, Andrew. “Parental Quest Bears Fruit in a Kidney Disease Treatment,” The New York Times (2013): B1 Print.

Jefferson-Jackson Dinner and a Fired Up Bernie Sanders

Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley appear with Iowa Democratic Party Chair Andy McGuire (second from left) at Saturday's Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in Des Moines.
Presidential candidates Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton,  and Martin O’Malley appear with Iowa Democratic Party Chair Andy McGuire (second from left) at Saturday’s Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in Des Moines.

Recently, I had the awesome opportunity to attend the Iowa Democratic Party Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in Des Moines, Iowa. At the event several blocks of downtown Des Moines was turned into a Democratic Party rally. This was one of the largest dinners yet, with a great deal of excitement and energy. I was lucky enough to get a table ticket at this enthusiastic party-building event for the Iowa Democratic Party to get fired up and ready to go for the upcoming 2016 first in the Nation Iowa Caucuses.

As we all know, I support Bernie Sanders for President. Bernie delivered a powerful and moving speech to start the political revolution in Iowa to get hundreds of thousands of previously apathetic Americans involved in our nation’s politics.

Bernie Sanders understands that the rich in our nation are continuing to get richer while income and wealth inequality has reached astronomical levels. This is why Bernie tackled this issue in his Jefferson-Jackson Dinner address.

You fight to raise the minimum wage and pay equity for women workers. You fight for an economy that works for working families and the middle class, for our kids and our seniors — and not just for the people on top.” – Bernie Sanders at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner

As we have seen in the polls, Bernie Sanders is running a strong campaign even without the help of power of millionaires and billionaires. In the 2016 New Hampshire Democratic Presidential Primary, Bernie Sanders is ahead of Hillary Clinton.

  • CBS/YouGov has Sanders at 54% and Clinton at 39%.
  • Bloomberg/Saint Anselm/Purple Strategies has sanders at 41% and Clinton at 36%.
  • NBC/WSJ/Marist has Sanders at 48% and Clinton 39%.

In the 2016 Iowa Democratic Presidential Caucuses Hillary Clinton is barely leading with Bernie Sanders close behind.

  • Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics has Clinton at 48% and Sanders at 41%.

The pundits said that, in this day and age, you can’t win a campaign without a Super PAC, without raising millions from the wealthiest people in this country. Well I am the only Democratic candidate for president who does not have a Super PAC and we are going to prove them wrong. We will win this election without a Super PAC.” – Bernie Sanders at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner

I am eager to stand with Bernie Sanders because he stood up for what was right when he faced a fork in the road.

It was called the Defense of Marriage Act — brought forth by a Republican-led Congress. Its purpose was to write discrimination against gays and lesbians into law. [. . .] I’m sorry to tell you that bill won by an overwhelming majority of 342 to 57 in the House and 85 to 15 in the Senate, big majorities which included too many Democrats. [. . .] Today, some are trying to rewrite history by saying they voted for one anti-gay law to stop something worse. Let us be clear. That’s just not true. There was a small minority opposed to discriminating against our gay brothers and sisters. Not everyone held that position in 1996.” – Bernie Sanders at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner

Bernie Sanders has been a lifelong supporter of LGBT rights. His official first step was during his first term as Mayor of Burlington, Vermont where he signed the city’s first ever Pride Parade proclamation. Later he signed a city ordinance banning housing discrimination. Bernie voted against the discriminatory anti-LGBT “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in 1993 and the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” in 1996. Then he fought to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

Bernie Sanders hailed the landmark United States Supreme Court decisions in 2013 and 2015 which struck down the “Defense of Marriage Act,” and recognized equal marriage rights across the nation. Bernie called the decision, “[a] victory for same-sex couples across our country as well as all those seeking to live in a nation where every citizen is afforded equal rights.”

Bernie Sanders recognizes the importance of doing more for LGBT rights. Bernie sees that in many states, it is still legal to fire someone for being lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. In addition, it is still legal to deny someone housing for being LGBT. Bernie will fight for change and he will make that change as President.

Bernie Sanders is a co-sponsor of the Equality Act, which would expand the 1964 Civil Rights Act and other anti-discrimination laws to include protections for sexual orientation and gender identity.

As President, Bernie Sanders will:

  1. Sign into law the Equality Act, the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, and any other bills that prohibits discrimination against LGBT people.
  2. Work with HHS to ensure LGBT Americans have access to comprehensive health insurance which provides appropriate coverage and do not have to fear discrimination or mistreatment from providers.
  3. Continue the work of the State Department’s Special Envoy for LGBT rights and ensure the United States helps protect the rights of LGBT people around the world.
  4. Advance policies to ensure students can attend school without fear of bullying, and work to reduce suicides.
  5. Require police departments to adopt policies to ensure fairer interactions with transgender people, especially transgender women of color who are often targeted by police unfairly, and institute training programs to promote compliance with fair policies.
  6. Bar discrimination against LGBT people by creditors and banks so that people will not be unfairly denied mortgages, credit cards, or student loans.
  7. Veto any legislation that purports to “protect” religious liberty at the expense of others’ rights.

Bernie Sanders stood against the war in Iraq because he knew it was not a good decision.

The vote was 296-133 in the House, 77 to 23 in the Senate voted to give President Bush authority to go to war. Let me tell you that I listened to what Bush had to say, to what Cheney had to say, to what Rumsfeld had to say. I didn’t believe them and I voted no.” Bernie Sanders at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner

Bernie sees the damages caused by these disastrous decisions. He sees the thousands of brave men and women who have lost their lives and others who have come home with disabilities. Going forward, Bernie believes that war should be only a last resort.

I believe we have an obligation to pursue diplomatic solutions before resorting to military engagement – especially after nearly fourteen years of ill-conceived and disastrous military engagements in the region.” – Bernie Sanders

562c50bbb08f6.imageI am proud to support Bernie Sanders in his effort to “break up the largest financial institutions in the country,” who destroyed our nations’ economy. These financial institutions are so-called, “too-big-to-fail,” and they have received a $700 billion bailout from the U.S. taxpayers. They also received more than $16 trillion in nearly zero interest loans from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Bernie Sanders has already introduced programs to tackle this disaster:

  • He introduced the “Too Big to Fail, Too Big to Exist Act,” this would break up the big banks and prohibit any too-big-to-fail institutions from accessing the Federal Reserve’s discount facilities or using insured deposits for risky activities.

In 1999, I voted against the deregulation of Wall Street, including ending the Glass-Steagall Act. The House vote was 362 to 57. Yes, I was in a small minority. Yes I took on Wall Street which spent $5 billion lobbying for this deregulation. But the vote I cast was the right vote.” – Bernie Sanders at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner

  • Bernie is a co-sponsor of the Elizabeth Warren/John McCain bill to reinstate Glass-Steagall.
  • He has proposed a financial transaction tax to reduce risky trading and other forms of Wall Street speculation; the proceeds would be used to provide debt-free public college education.

As a college student working on my Associates degree in psychology at Iowa Western Community College I have already accumulated over $10,000 in student loan debt. I come from a poor family who cannot afford to help me pay for my college education. However, I have hope because Bernie Sanders believes that it is time to make college tuition-free and debt-free. He believes that higher education must be a right for all not just wealthy families.

  • Make tuition free at public colleges and universities.
  • Stop the federal government from making a profit on student loans.
  • Allow Americans to refinance student loans at today’s low interest rates.
  • Allow students to use need-based financial aid and work study programs to make college debt-free.
  • Fully paid for by imposing a tax on Wall Street speculators.

Join the Campaign for Bernie Sanders!


Just say NO to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

Savvy, deep-pocketed foreign conglomerates could challenge a broad range of laws we pass at every level of government,” said United States Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (Weisma).

what_is_tppThe trade agreement is a cornerstone of President Barack Obama’s economic agenda for his second term in office. The agreement faces tremendous criticism from many Democrats and progressives. Collectively, they claim that this deal would be damaging to U.S. sovereignty, that it expands the ISDS (investor-state dispute settlement), and it adds new substantive rights to foreign companies and investors. All of which many say would hurt the U.S. economy, damage the environment, roll-back human rights, and destroy privacy.

LNG_Terminal_5_tpp_meme_2-01_copyThe trade agreement would grant broad powers to multinational companies and investors operating in North America, South America, and Asia. Under the agreement, companies and investors would be able to challenge any regulations, rules, government actions and court rulings – federal, state or local – that they do not agree with before tribunals organized under the World Bank or the United Nations (Weisma).

Importantly, two weeks ago the negotiators reached an agreement, and now, we all must continue to wait for the full details of the agreement to be released. The New York Times predicts that it may take another three to four months for Congress to enact the agreement (Lee). However, under the “fast-track” legislation, it ensures Congress will only be able to vote yes or no and not debate it. This legislation was pushed by the Obama administration.

Thus, the public cannot see the agreement or know what is in it. Not to forget that all of the negotiations were done in secret. However, Congress should pass it without debating it. This is not democracy. The following includes information provided through Senators, Representatives, and leaked documents.

The trade agreement would grant foreign companies and investors rights that are not applicable to U.S. companies and investors, such as access to extrajudicial tribunals. These tribunals would be staffed by private sector lawyers. These lawyers can rotate between acting as “judges” and representing the governments who  have conflicts of interest (Wallach and Beachy, pgs. 3-4). They have no public accountability and there is no requirement for tribunalists to be impartial. They also have no right to appeal. In addition, these tribunals can order governments to pay unlimited  monetary compensation.

Specifically, the Trans-Pacific Partnership has a massive overreaching definition of “investment” for all companies and investors involved. The following is that definition from the leaked documents:

Every asset that an investor owns or controls, directly or indirectly, that has the characteristics of an investment, including such characteristics as the commitment of capital or other resources, the expectation of gain or profit, or the assumption of gain or profit, or the assumption of risk (Wallach and Beachy, pg. 4).

Under these terms of the trade agreement, the investors could demand monetary compensation if nations “expropriate or nationalize covered  investment either directly or indirectly.” Therefore, this could be interpreted broadly to include multinational companies opposing regulatory or legal changes that diminish the value of their ‘investments.’

4aaThese new rights could mean more cases like the one in 2013, where Eli  Lilly, a pharmaceutical company used a  similar provision under NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) to sue Canada for $500 million. Eli Lilly accused Ottawa, Canada, of violating its  obligations to foreign investors by allowing Canada’s courts to invalidate patents for two of their  drugs (Weisma).

According to U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA),

Agreeing to ISDS in this enormous new treaty would tilt  the playing field in the United States further in favor of big multinational corporations. Worse, it would undermine U.S. sovereignty.

resizeThe following is an example Senator Warren gave to describe the new powers of ISDS. Imagine that the U.S. bans a toxic chemical that is added to gasoline because it is  harmful. If one company makes the toxic chemical and opposes the law, it would normally challenge the law in a U.S. court. However, with ISDS, that company could skip the U.S. court and go before one of the tribunals. If the company wins, the ruling could not be challenged in U.S. court, and the tribunal could require U.S. taxpayers to pay millions of dollars in damages.

Unfortunately there is a growing number of ISDS cases. From 1958 to 2002, there were fewer than 100 ISDS claims in the world. In 2012, that number rose to 58 cases. Recently, a Swedish company  sued Germany because Germany decided to  phase out  nuclear power after Japan’s Fukushima disaster. Philip Morris has even attempted to use ISDS to stop Uruguay from implementing their new tobacco regulations (Warren).

Under this expansion, TransCanada could force  the U.S. government to build the Keystone XL Pipeline or incur a large monetary payout for damages to  TransCanada by not building the pipeline. The expansion is troubling, especially to U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), who said

This continues the great American tradition of corporations writing trade agreements, sharing them with almost nobody, so often at the expense of consumers, public health, and workers (Weisma).

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a cornerstone of President Obama’s economic agenda  which faces tremendous criticism from his  own Party. The agreement is enormous and could damage U.S. sovereignty, expands the ISDS, and it adds new substantive rights to foreign companies and investors. Many continue to say that this agreement could hurt the U.S. economy, damage the environment, roll-back human rights, and destroy privacy.

Are you are Bernie Sanders supporter and wish to stand with him against the Trans-Pacific Partnership?

Are you against the Trans-Pacific Partnership but not a Bernie Sanders supporter?

Works Cited

Lee, Timothy. “The just-completed Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, explained.”     Vox.com Vox, 5 Oct. 2015. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.

Wallach, Lori and Beachy, Ben. “Analysis of Leaked Trans-Pacific Partnership Investment Text,” Public Citizen (2015): 3-5 Print.

Warren, Elizabeth. “The Trans-Pacific Partnership clause everyone should oppose.” Washingtonpost.com. Washington Post, 25 Feb. 2015. Web. 26 April. 2015.

Weisma, Jonathan. “Trans-Pacific Partnership Seen as Door for Foreign Suits Against U.S.” nyti.com. New York Times, 25 March. 2015. Web. 26 April. 2015.

We Need Medicare-for-all NOW!

download (2)The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is working and is an improvement from what we had before. The healthcare law (ACA), ensures that up to 105 million Americans cannot be subject to lifetime caps by their health insurance plans. Because of the law, up to 17 million children with pre-existing conditions cannot be denied coverage or charged more. Specifically in Iowa, the law has allowed over 800,000 Iowans to receive at least one preventive service at no out-of-pocket cost.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a definite improvement over the status quo. It extended health insurance to millions of people, a move which will save lives and improve the quality of life for many people. But it is not enough. – Richard Eskow

55ba7e6dc361883d318b45deI support Senate Bernie Sanders’ plan for Medicare-for-all single-payer health care system.

The Medicare-for-all or “Universal health care” plan consists of only one payer (a single-payer public agency) to pay for medical care. There is only one health plan for everyone that provides all medically-necessary care, and it would eliminate the unnecessary administrative activities.

The United States remains the only major country on earth that does not guarantee health care for all as a right. – Senator Bernie Sanders

Medicare-for-all single-payer system provides only one payer of medical bills, not the array of over 1,000 different health insurance companies with confusing plans that include terms such as “formulary” and “out-of-network.”

  • “Single-payer health care,” simply means that only one public (insurance) agency – that is publicly accountable and people pay into a single fund – that pays for medical bills.

Bernie’s model, which he introduced in the U.S. Senate, the “American Health Security Act,” calls for the right to healthcare for all. The plan has endorsements from several national unions and the AFL-CIO, along with many national healthcare advocacy organizations. His bill for Medicare-for-all single-payer system, would update and strengthen our nation’s healthcare system with the following:

  • An equitable tax structure, providing that the wealthy pay their fair share into a national healthcare system.
  • Union/company benefit plans would be maintained if desired, however only to provide extras other than the medically necessary care that would be covered for everyone.
  • Funding dedicated to ensuring that transitional benefits would be available for insurance industry and administrative workers who may be displaced.
  • Complete funding for community health centers, giving 60 million Americans living in rural and underserved areas access to care (Healthcare Now)

*there have been other versions of the single-payer health care system introduced in Congress*

Medicare for All is an urgently – needed next step, leading to a more humane and efficient health care system. – Richard Eskow

Many Americans do not realize that there is a difference between “health insurance” and “health care.” Clarification, “health insurance” is not “health care.”

  • “Health care” is a phrase which has traditionally referred to medical treatment.
  • “Health insurance” is a financial arrangement that collects funds to pay for medical treatment.

In America, the majority of Americans are covered through private health insurance, which they get through for-profit corporations. Many if not all of these corporations charge significant percentages for profit and their “overhead.”

The problem is this: Even when they [Americans] have health insurance, Americans are paying more and more every year for their actual treatment. – Richard Eskow

Even with health insurance, out-of-pocket costs of health care – including copayments and deductibles – are soaring.

  • According to Milliman’s most recent report the employee’s total cost of care increased by roughly 43% between 2010 and 2015. (Employer costs increased by nearly one-third.)

As we all know, for-profit health insurance is expensive and inefficient.

We [United States] spend significantly more for health care than any other developed nation. – Richard Eskow

For example, look at United Healthcare, they reported profits of more than $10 billion in 2014. That is just one year. Now, if you took that money and put it back into the system, you could provide medical coverage to more than one million people, and that’s even at our nation’s excessive rates.

bernie_on_single_payerExecutives of those companies have been big winners. Mark Bertolini, CEO of Aetna (the nation’s third largest health insurer) had a total compensation of $30.7 million in 2013, which was 131% higher than in 2012. Health Plan Week, a trade publication, said the CEO’s of the 11 largest for-profit companies were rewarded with compensation packages last year [2013] totaling greater than $125 million. Those companies include Aetna, Centene, Cigna, Health Net, Humana, Molina, Triple-S Management Corporation, UnitedHealth Group, Universal American, Wellcare, and WellPoint (Center for Public Integrity).

Basically, we are getting much less for our money. We pay more on a single person basis for care than our peers in other nations.

The following is the health expenditure per capita in U.S. dollars for several major nations for the year 2014 (WordBank):

  • Australia $6,110
  • Belgium $5,093
  • Canada $5,718
  • Denmark $6,270
  • France $4,864
  • Germany $5,006
  • Japan $3,966
  • Netherlands $6,145
  • Sweden $5,680
  • United Kingdom $3,598
    • Average for those nations: $5,245
  • United States $9,146

Private health insurance costs more, and delivers less than government-sponsored care. – Richard Eskow

tumblr_nqmseszzS11uvablzo1_1280Personally, living with cystinosis, I stack up medical bills quickly. However, I am on Medicare and Medicaid, which pays for all of those costs. I am frightened when I think about my future and how in the world I would be able to afford employer health insurance. The employer health insurance would need to pay for all of my medications and medical expenses. One of my medications alone costs $55,000 for a 30 day supply. That is outrageous!

Look at the “free market” in health care. There are only 11 major health insurance companies, and many of the others are owned by those 11.

One might even consider those health insurance markets “highly concentrated” under the Justice Department, according to a 2009 study.

For-profit pharmacy corporations, hospital chains, and provider practice groups are driving up costs in a system that provides an incentive to overcharge and overtreat patients. – Richard Eskow

Look at this, the government can and has managed healthcare delivery efficiently. It is called Medicare.

Medicare is more cost-effective than private insurer, and could serve as the foundation for a single-payer system. – Senator Bernie Sanders

“Medicare operates at lower overhead than private health insurance. Medical costs have increased more slowly for Medicare than they have for private insurance.”

It is a moral imperative that the United States join the rest of the developed world in guaranteeing all Americans the human right of health care by adopting the Medicare-for-all single-payer health care plan.

It’s time for a Medicare-for-all single-payer health care system!

Sign the petition! 

Other Sources: Five Reasons We Need Medicare For All
*Nothing in this post has been authorized by any candidate, candidate’s committee, or party*

Commit to Caucus for Bernie Sanders

On February 1st, 2016, I will be caucusing for Senator Bernie Sanders for United States President in the Iowa Democratic Party Caucuses, and this is why!

bernie_sandersSenator Bernie Sanders is serving his 2nd term in the U.S. Senate. He won his last election with 71%. Bernie has served 16 years in the U.S. House, and he is the longest serving independent in our nation’s history. 

Bernie Sanders served 4 terms as the Mayor of Burlington, Vermont and he was first elected in 1981.

In the 60s, as a student and activist, Bernie was a front-line champion for equality. He was even arrested while protesting the segregation of schools, he organized against segregated housing in Chicago, and he marched on Washington, D.C. with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Bernie Sanders is one of our nation’s most persistent voices defending the interests of the working class and standing up to the excesses of corporate America. He is also widely considered the most progressive member of the U.S. Senate. 

I will caucus for Bernie Sanders because he believes in real family values, values that strengthen the bonds of the family and improve the lives of our families.

  • 10435642_867506549971017_514175294279107342_nBernie cosponsored Sen. Kirsent Gilibrand’s FAMILY Act, which would guarantee every employee twelve weeks of paid family and medical leave.
  • Bernie also cosponsored Sen. Patty Murray’s Healthy Families Act, which would guarantee seven days of paid sick leave per year for American workers.

I will caucus for Bernie because he understands that to create decent paying jobs you must invest in the U.S. and our youth.

It’s even worse for young people. A recent study found that over 50% of young African-Americans and more than one-third of white and Hispanic youth are looking for full-time work. – Sen. Bernie Sanders

  • 11709501_863713060350366_1012888495097785532_nBernie introduced legislation which would invest $1 trillion over five years to modernize our country’s physical infrastructure, creating and maintaining at least 13 million good-paying jobs.
  • Bernie opposed bad trade deals such as NAFTA, CAFTA, permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) with China, and the TPP.
  • Bernie also introduced the Employ Young Americans Now Act with Rep. John Conyers. It would provide $5.5 billion in immediate funding to employ one million young Americans between the ages of 16 and 24.

I will caucus for Bernie because he understands the impact of income and wealth inequality.

In fact, inequality is worse now than at any other time in American history since the 1920s. . .  We live in one of the wealthiest countries on earth – and yet children go hungry, veterans sleep out on the streets and senior citizens cannot afford their prescription drugs. This is what a rigged economic system looks like. – Sen. Bernie Sanders

I will caucus for Bernie because he will fight to get big money out of politics.

Freedom of speech does not mean the freedom to buy the United States government. . . In a 5-4 decision in the Citizens United case, the Supreme Court essentially declared that corporations have the same rights as natural-born human beings. – Sen. Bernie Sanders

  • BernieSanders-FreeSpeechBernie introduced the Democracy Is for People constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.
  • Bernie voted for the DISCLOSE Act to shine a light on the exorbitant amounts of dark money in our politics.
  • Bernie has even promised that any Sanders Administration Supreme Court nominee will commit to overturning the disastrous Citizens United decision.

I will caucus for Bernie because he will combat climate change and protect our environment.

We must transform our energy system away from polluting fossil fuels, and towards energy efficiency and sustainability. – Sen. Bernie Sanders

  • 11059916_873367072718298_5236429870077953044_nBernie led the opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline.
  • Bernie introduced the gold standard for climate change legislation with Sen. Barbara Boxer to tax carbon and methane emissions.
  • Bernie also secured $3.2 billion in the economic stimulus package for grants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in a program that has funded upgrades for more than 86,000 buildings and installed more than 9,500 solar energy systems.

I will caucus for Bernie because he will fight for a living wage.

The current federal minimum wage is starvation pay and must become a living wage. We must increase it to $15 an hour over the next several years.”

  • Bernie introduced a budget amendment to raise the minimum wage.
  • Bernie also introduced the “Workplace Democracy Act” to strengthen the role of unions and the voices of working people on the job.

*Nothing in this post was approved by any candidate, candidate’s committee, or political party*