Rep. Francis Rooney is not just speaking out against pharma and unrealistic drug prices, but he has also joined the Democrats to deal with the health care policies and pricing.
Politically, Rooney has not literally joined the Democrats, he continues to be a Republican and one of their mega-donors, but he has picked up the battle against unrealistic drug pricings.
Francis Rooney is supportive of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who has been talking about drug pricing.
“I am really excited that Speaker Pelosi has picked [drug pricing] up so strongly,” Rooney said in an interview, “and that people of all ideologies and parties are realizing that pharma … gives more money to politicians than any other special interest.”
Politicians are raising questions about donors. First, it was the NRA, while they remain hugely powerful in an ongoing battle for people for gun control, the NRA has given millions to the Republicans. The Republicans need the money, hence their unwavering support for guns. Big pharmaceuticals also sponsor and donate huge money to the Republicans.
Is it because of political donations that pharma gets away with such high drug prices? The American people are slowly getting angrier with the unaffordable health care plans they are presented with.
The interesting thing about Rep Francis Rooney is that he is not a member of any of the committees for health care. He had a stint as US ambassador to the Holy See and he is now known as a mega-donor. After having a successful career in construction and finance, he’s now making a noise about health policies and drug prices.
Almost other drug-pricing bill has been utterly bipartisan, backed solely by the Democrats. But Rooney is supporting a bill that will allow Medicare to negotiate prices. This has been a no-go area for the Republicans. Francis Rooney went as far as introducing a bill, mirroring Bernie Sander’s proposal, and to cap US’ drug costs.
Francis Rooney is a bit unorthodox on his stance against big pharma and is being eyed suspiciously by his own party. The fact that he is willing to take on the drug industry, bucking republican trends, is raising some eyebrows. However, Rooney is breaking ranks to back new drug industry reforms. Will he be the only Republican to do this, or will he receive support from his party?
It is unclear if there are going to be other Republicans joining the health care battle. One thing is for sure, the Democrats must be enjoying it.