Progressive Maryland Statement Against Corporate Meddling Following Dēmos and People’s Action Report

bailout_sig.jpgA new report from People's Action and Demos details the avalanche of corporate spending to stop or trim important measures that would expand Medicare, childcare, paid family leave, community health programs, green jobs and critical climate initiatives.

“It’s not surprising that these businesses that represent billionaire and multi-millionaire CEOs and stockholders are lobbying hard to keep the status quo in place -- big tax breaks for them, higher prices and lower wages for us -- and that they are spending tens of millions of dollars to vocalize their demands and to drown out the peoples’ voices” said Larry Stafford, Executive Director of Progressive Maryland.



Progressive Maryland Statement Against Corporate Meddling Following Dēmos and People’s Action Report

New Report Shows How Corporate America is Trying to Derail the Build Back Better Agenda

Wednesday, September 29th, 2021 -- Progressive Maryland is proud to join our national affiliate, People’s Action, and Dēmos, the national “think and do tank,” in releasing an eye opening and disturbing report about the relentless attack on democracy by corporate America and their brazen attempt to control Congress. Several big businesses and their trade associations have launched a fierce attack to sink the Build Back Better agenda, an investment plan with policies that are critical to working class Maryland families and millions of workers, students, seniors and small businesses. 

The report, Behind the Curtain: The Corporate Plot to Upend Democracy, details the avalanche of corporate spending and the negative impact it could have on important measures that would expand Medicare, childcare, paid family leave, community health programs, and that would make significant investments in green jobs and critical climate initiatives.

“It’s not surprising that these businesses that represent billionaire and multi-millionaire CEOs and stockholders are lobbying hard to keep the status quo in place: big tax breaks for them, higher prices and lower wages for us; and that they are spending tens of millions of dollars to vocalize their demands and to drown out the peoples’ voices” said Larry Stafford, Executive Director of Progressive Maryland, after reading the report’s findings.

Behind the Curtain shows that in 2021, PhRMA has spent more than $15 million dollars on lobbying -- most of that to try and stop changes that would result in price relief and patient protections, and to block the expansion of Medicare to include dental, vision and hearing benefits. Progressive Maryland is fighting back against these corporate interests and organizing to pass  the Build Back Better agenda. We support everything in the agenda, including the provisions for Medicare expansion and lower Rx prices. Americans pay the highest prescription drug costs in the world and that needs to change. According to the report, Black and brown people are diagnosed with conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease, at higher rates and are more likely to ration medications at higher rates than their white counterparts. These kinds of racial disparities in our system must be eliminated.

Last week, Progressive Maryland was out in front of PhRMA headquarters in D.C. with dozens of grassroots activists and people who are struggling with the high cost of medicine. Polls show that in every single Congressional District in the state, at least 90% of residents support giving Medicare the power to negotiate drug prices. Not many other public policies enjoy that kind of broad based support. This power (which the Veterans Administration has) will result in lower prices for Medicare recipients and everyone who relies on sustaining and life-saving medication.

On Monday this week, Progressive Maryland held a press conference with Representative Anthony Brown supporting the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill being advanced by progressive Democrats. “The Build Back Better agenda will also invest in health care so we can hire more nurses, provide more training, expand access, and deliver the best care possible to our patients,” said Sherri Howard, a nurse at the University of Maryland Capital Region Medical Center, at the event. 

We call on all the Members of our Congressional Delegation to speak out against this outrageous attempt by PhRMA and corporate America to try to steal our democracy and rob funds from programs we need.