Nashua Telegraph: Kuster co-sponsors bill to strip fiscal cliff deal bonus for drug company
U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster, D-N.H., is coauthoring a bipartisan bill aimed at stripping a controversial provision from the fiscal cliff law Congress approved in December that awarded a benefit worth $500 million to Amgen, a for-profit pharmaceutical company.
This section blocked Medicare from regulating the price of Amgen’s dialysis drug for two years and was tucked into a host of tax extenders, credits and other provisions in the fiscal cliff measure without a public hearing or any debate.
The Amgen provision only recently surfaced when The New York Times reported on it and the chief sponsors of it were Sens. Orrin Hatch, R-UT, and Max Baucus, D-MT, the top Republican and Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee.
“This last-minute taxpayer giveaway tucked into the fiscal cliff deal is exactly what’s wrong with Washington,” Kuster said. “While Congress was finalizing a plan to avoid a catastrophic default on our country’s debt, Amgen quietly worked to include this taxpayer handout in the final bill virtually without notice.’’
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