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In the News: 2016 Presidential Campaign, Prescription Drugs, China, & the FCC

5/31/2015  articles

The 2016 presidential campaign wagon is lumbering right along. To this observer the GOP is making a lot of worthwhile noise. Former Republican Senator Rick Santorum held a boisterous pep rally vowing in no uncertain terms to be victorious and set the United States of America right again.

IRS

Seth McLaughlin of The Washington Times has released a new book titled Blue Collar Conservatives. The IRS is at it again. A Wall Street Journal front page story reports “Identity thieves used one of its online services to obtain prior-year tax return information for about 104,000 U.S. households, a major breach of the agency charged with safeguarding taxpayers’ privacy.

The Journal further reports “The agency believes fewer than 15,000 were paid as a result of the frauds, and the total paid was under $50 million.

Prescription Drug Policy

The Journal reports that Express Scripts Holding Co. is seeking deals with pharmaceutical companies that would set pricing for some cancer drugs based on their efficacy, how well they work.

Did you ever wish that the cost of prescription drugs would come down because the cost would be based on how well they work?

China

Let’s go to China and see what they’re up to: A publication of China Daily, published by the People’s Republic of China, brags on its front page that China’s President Xi is “turning over a new leaf for China.”

He has written a new book “released in nine languages, that outline the leader’s blueprint for economy, international relations.”

Book fairs have been held at or scheduled for Paris, Moscow, Germany, Great Britain and the U.S.A.

FCC

The future of the cable industry rests with cable. Here is a list of the top cable providers and their customers in millions for the first quarter 2015: Comcast 27.2, New Charter 24.2, Time Warner Cable 15.1, Charter 6.3, Cox, 6.0, Cablevision 3.1 Bright House (components of merger).

Tom Wheeler, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission has proposed that the commission expand its efforts to ensure that low-income Americans have reliable, high-speed Internet through a federal subsidy of broadband service.

Sen. David Vitter (R. La.) said: “The FCC has failed to manage Lifeline efficiently in its present form. I cannot support any expansion of a program that has so few safeguards in place.”

“Another point of contention will be who should be responsible for determining who is eligible for the subsidy. Telecom companies currently have this responsibility, but they have long complained that the process is too burdensome.”

The coming fight over Lifeline also raises the possibility that a third party would take over verifying the eligibility of all participants. The proposal would also keep the amount of the subsidy the same at $9.25 a month.

Scott Bergmann, vice president of regulatory affairs for the wireless industry trade group CTIA said, “We look forward to working with the FCC as it evolves this program in a manner that is fiscally responsive to Americans’ reliance on mobile solutions.” Who could help out paying for those who cannot? How about Internet providers chipping in?

By the Way

There are still openings for all of you potential candidates for President. The latest politico to announce his readiness to run for the top job in the country is former New York Republican Governor George Pataki, a conservative from a liberal state who won three terms in a very blue state.

What do you think?

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