Saturday, August 27, 2016

The LuLac Edition #3285, August 27th, 2016

First off, let me preference my remarks by saying that I am very familiar with a person who has to live with an allergy. The biggest scare of my life came a week after I was married to Mrs. LuLac. We had just returned from our honeymoon in Jamaica and set up shop on Grove Street above Leggeri’s Supermarket. On a Friday night we went to get our first food order at the old SuperSaver at the Penn Plaza on South Main Street in Wilkes Barre. Prior to that, we had dinner at a Chinese Restaurant, (one close by that I still frequent when she is out of town) and while I was in the cereal aisle, I heard a commotion. My week old marriage was being threatened by an egg roll that had peanuts as a thickener. Since then, we are careful when we dine out and make sure conversations are held with wait staff and in some cases even chefs. (Except Abe’s on South Main and Eric Lee’s in Dallas). So I am sympathetic to people who get allergic reactions.
This week there was news that the owner of the EpiPen, Mylan, the majority provider of the severe allergy treatment lifesaving drug was responsible for a fourfold price increase on EpiPen. Meanwhile, it’s CEO, Heather Bresch. Daughter of Senator Joe Manchin, took a huge pay raise that amounts to millions of dollars a year. The going price at pharmacies for the epi-pen was $600.00. This provoked outrage by people who need the drug. By the end of the week, after people complained Mylan offered a 50% discount, a rebate program and get this, called for reform of the Insurance Industry. Bresch cited the Health Care crisis in America.
Uh no…………………………………the crisis with the EpiPen is the decision of a drug company to gouge its consumer. Bresch said that the company needed to recover the costs of owning it. So she does that by taking a 30 million dollar plus salary?
Ah the private market. Our conservative friends tell us let the markets control the economy and the prices of things and everything will get better. Except for people spending $600.00 on a life saving drug.
Which brings us to our friend Frank Scavo, a frequent caller to WILK Radio, a former Old Forge School Director, race car enthusiast at Giant’s Despair Hill Climbs, and a Tea Party fan who feels that government should stay out of the lives of all of us. Frank also ran for the State Senate in the 22nd District in 2010 to replace Senator Bob Mellow. On Facebook Frank is a prolific poster. I have violently disagreed with some of his posts. I might have even said that for me that invalidated his opinion on some issues. At one point he was even reported on FB which I disagreed with more violently than my dismay with his posts. But that’s their decision, not mine. (As a person who edits comments on LuLac how can I fault them?) But I digress.
Through the years Frank has posted pictures of his family trips to the Caribbean, his race car ventures at Giant’s Despair, concerts, family gatherings and his very anti-Democratic party stances on the issues of the day. He is well known as a Conservative’s conservative. But this week Scavo found himself in the middle of a health crisis which led the WNEP TV news the other night.
Scavo had an undetermined reaction to an allergy and needed to go to the ER for it. He went to a pharmacy as a preventative measure but declined the Epi Pens when he was told the cost was $600.00 citing the expense.
Here’s the link to the report from WNEP’s Peggy Lee.
In the interview Mr. Scavo said,

“My face had blown up, it was the size of a football, I could no longer breath through my nose, my sinuses and my throat was beginning to close.”
His doctor told him about the EpiPen auto-injector, a device carrying the drug epinephrine that works as a muscle relaxer during an allergic reaction.
Scavo got a prescription but when he went to get the medicine, he got a big shock.
“They said it`s $600 upon which I said forget it, I can`t afford it!” said Scavo. “And the pharmacist said, listen many people do cancel because the cost is very expensive for the average working man.”
Scavo, and millions of others across the nation, are expressing outrage at EpiPen`s manufacturer, Mylan over what they feel is price gouging.
“If I had the EpiPen it would probably have relieved it (the allergic reaction) long before I got to this point of having to take a $500 ambulance ride and a $5000 emergency room visit,” said Scavo.
Now caught up in national firestorm, Mylan say it`s making immediate changes to EpiPen distribution.
It says it will offer patients savings cards that will cut the cost in half, to $300.
Scavo, who has now bought the EpiPen, feels more needs to be done.
“Who`s looking out for the working man? Where`s the FDA, where`s the Consumer Protection Agency on these issues because this {drug} at $600? Who`s going to buy it?”
Thursday, U.S. Senator Bob Casey issued a statement on Mylan also saying what the company is doing is not enough. (Narrative: WNEP TV)
Well a few things here for Mr. Scavo and Mr. Casey. First Mr. Scavo, the Consumer Protection Agency stops unfair, deceptive and fraudulent business practices by collecting complaints and conducting investigations, suing companies and people that break the law, developing rules to maintain a fair marketplace, and educating consumers and businesses about their rights and responsibilities. It doesn’t say anything about pricing though because pricing is part of private industry which drug companies are. Mylan has learned that the private market on their Epi-Pen has pissed people off and adjusted things accordingly. But it wasn’t until after the furor that they chose to back peddle and come clean.
To Mr. Casey, you are correct, Mylan is not doing enough because they don’t have to. The reason why is that drug companies spend nearly 280 million a year contributing to politicians. Meanwhile since 2003, Medicare, the biggest drug purchaser in the US, cannot negotiate drug pricing. As a result, some of the most disenfranchised patients pay high co-pays, and tax payers are forced to cough up billions in taxes to subsidize Medicare drug spending. The Epi-Pen story this week brings out a few things.
1. Drug companies as private entities don’t give a shit about consumers. All they care about is profit at any cost. And this is why guys like Bernie Sanders have had a hearing this years because people aren’t dumb.
2. Consumers who need life saving or quality of life prescriptions need to know they are faceless to the big companies. I am currently on a drug that is pretty inexpensive but if or when I reach 65 Medicare won’t cover it. So because I know that now, I’m making contingencies. Plain and simple, the drugs mean more to me than the other stuff. Is that fair? No. But that’s life. I want no surprises like Mr. Scavo got.
3. Government regulation, an anathema to a guy like Frank sometimes is onerous. But as Paul Kanjorski used to say, “Regulations exist for the percentage of companies who don’t do the right thing.” Like Mylan.
4. The reason why these things happen is because the drug and insurance companies can do whatever the hell they want. The country needs a Public Option where every American has health care and Epi-Pens won’t cost $600.00. When the President took office, 75% of the American people supported the Public Option. The well was poisoned by people who stood to gain the most, companies like Mylan.
All this needs to be fixed and only one of the Presidential candidates seem to be talking about it. But I won’t mention her name because Frank Scavo has had a rough enough week already.


Independent candidate Everett Stern (Photo: Stern website)
There is a Third Party candidate running for Pennsylvania’s open Senate seat. Everett Stern is a 2016 independent candidate seeking elction to the post.
Stern was a 2014 Republican candidate who sought election to the U.S. House to represent the 13th Congressional District of Pennsylvania. However, he withdrew from the race prior to the filing deadline.
Here is the letter Stern wrote on his website:
Dear Voters, Family, Friends, and Colleagues:
The Republican Party in Pennsylvania did whatever it could to keep me off the Republican ballot for US Senate because I am challenging their darling incumbent, Senator Pat Toomey. I’m sure the party insiders think they’ve handed me a resounding defeat, but nothing could be further from the truth. Everything they’ve done to keep me off the ballot only serves to strengthen my resolve to win this fight. I will now run for the U.S. Senate as an Independent candidate. The biggest mistake people make is to look at me as if I’m a politician. I’m not a politician. I’m a fighter. And I know how to fight like I’ve got nothing to lose because I’ve been there before.
When I decided to blow the whistle on banking juggernaut HSBC for willingly flaunting US anti-money laundering regulations, I didn’t realize it would cost me everything. Doing the right thing left me penniless, but I had to do it. Innocent lives around the world depended on me not turning my back on how the bank was allowing money to flow through its US accounts and into the hands of terrorists. I saw first-hand how insatiable corporate greed for short-term profits leads to policies and practices that fly in the face of American values and laws. When it’s all about the money, honor and integrity are too often flung aside in favor of the almighty Dollar. HSBC doesn’t careabout anything except raking in gargantuan profits.
The same is all too often true in politics. Senator Pat Toomey sat on the Senate Bank Financing Committee and utterly failed to hold HSBC accountable for its egregious violation of US law and banking regulations. To add insult to injury, Senator Toomey has also accepted campaign contributions from HSBC bank. No wonder he did so little to hold the bank accountable. After all, it’s helping make sure he gets reelected. In the same way that HSBC simply doesn’t care about anything except making money, Senator Toomey clearly doesn’t care about doing the right thing – he only cares about making sure he’s got the money he needs to get reelected, no matter how dubious the source of funds.
It’s this trend of indifference and not caring that keeps me in the fight. I don’t have the financial resources of HSBC backing me. I certainly don’t and won’t have the millions of dollars Senator Toomey will have at his disposal for campaigning. What I do have, however, are several things Senator Toomey lacks: Honor, integrity, and the steely resolve to do what’s right for the American people. I believe the good people of Pennsylvania will eventually see the differences between Senator Toomey and Everett Stern and make the right choice.
I am willing to put everything on the line to win this election. Senator Toomey, on the other hand, doesn’t even show up to most of the GOP events from which I’ve been so conveniently excluded. I believe the American people deserve so much more than someone who doesn’t even care enough to show up. On the battlefield of this campaign, I show up every time and fight the good fight. Even after a setback such as not getting on the Republican ballot, I continue to fight.
I understand that in a war, you can’t expect to win every battle. Right now my campaign feels like a young and inexperienced David facing off against Goliath – but we all now how that particular encounter ended. I felt the same way when I faced off against global banking giant HSBC. I know what it’s like to be the little guy taking on giants, and my aim is true.
I look forward to rallying anyone and everyone to my cause with the clarion calls of CHARACTER, HONOR, INTEGRITY, and LOYALTY. Those are what I’m all about, and they’re everything lacking in Senator Toomey. Together we can fight the apathy that threatens our nation. We can fight the indifference. We can fight the not caring. And we can win. I know you’ll join with me in this fight because you care about everything for which America stands. Together we will win the victory.
“I came to the swift, raging river, And the roar held the echo of fear;
“Oh Lord, give me wings to fly over, If You are, as You promised, quite near.”
But He said, “Trust the grace I am giving, All-pervasive, sufficient for you.
Take my hand, we will face this together;
But My plan is – not over, but through.”
Everett A. Stern, M.B.A.
Intelligence Director
United States of America


Mrs. LuLac and I spent part of our afternoon today with Wilkes Barre Councilman Tony Brooks and his friends. We traveled to Stoddersville  on the Lehigh River joining Tony and friends at WAC-ZIP Lodge.
Here is a shot of the beautiful scenery.
From left to right, your blog editor, Councilman Brooks and Megan MacGregor.
WAC-ZIP was built by John Lord Butler, Sr., a member of the Yale Class of 1915. His grandfather George Hollenback Butler acquired the town of Stoddartsville when he married Gertrude Taylor Stoddart in 1890. The Stoddartsville Association manages eleven properties and are still owned by descendants.


At 9:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, if Mr. Self-reliance Scavo, who always talks about having no debt, can afford vacations, and he has insurance, why couldn't he afford the epi-pen? 600 is the full price for two pen pack. I am sure his insurance would have picked up some of it. If he is Mr. Self-reliance, then it is he who is responsible for his health, and if he is so debt free and has saved money, as he has claimed on Sue Henry's show almost every time he calls in, then why didn't he spend a few hundred dollars to insure that he wouldn't****ing die from an allergic reaction? Oh that's right, because he is a ****ing intellectual lightweight who doesn't really understand what is important. I am sure it is Obama, or Hillary, or some illegal immigrant that caused Frank's problems. Maybe Mr. Self-reliance should take a little self-responsibility

At 3:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh the irony


At 11:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yonki.....your stuff is the best!

At 1:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scavo... Scavo ... Scavo!!!!!

At 9:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone has to say it, and although I know you are going to edit, I wish this one time you would allow a reader an unfettered voice. It is but 3 simple words. F*** FRANK SCAVO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At 9:52 PM, Blogger David Yonki said...

Someone has to say it, and although I know you are going to edit it,


I'm just an editing machine I tell 'ya but I think people get your point.


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