Letters to the Editor

Special interests costing the taxpayer

A March 5 letter complained about wasteful spending on Medicare.

The present administration had negotiated a savings of half a billion dollars with Amgen for drugs that Medicare patients need for kidney dialysis. However, in order to avoid going over the fiscal cliff, an 11th-hour backroom negotiation involving U.S. Sens. Mitch McConnell, Max Baucus and Orrin Hatch derailed that savings for the taxpayers.

Why? Amgen has 74 lobbyists who donate heavily to the above politicians. One of the lobbyists is Hunter Bates, a former staff member of McConnell. Another lobbyist is Jeff Forbes, a former lobbyist of Baucus. The top aid of Hatch is Don Todd, who used to work for Amgen.

According to an investigative report by Eric Lipton and Kevin Sack of The New York Times called "Amgen ties with Congress," Todd put together the secret deal. Two congressmen -- Reps. Richard Hanna and Peter Welch -- are trying to repeal the bill in order to get this money back for Medicare and taxpayers.

I'm certain there are examples like this too numerous to state.

In fact, there is an organization called the American Legislative Exchange Council that actually writes the legislation for Congress to pass.

Diana Nadanyi

Sun City Hilton Head

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