Press Release: Azar Led Eli Lilly in Exploiting Patients for Profits; He’s Unfit to Lead HHS

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, January 9, 2018
Contact: Lindsey Giostra, lindsey.giostra@berlinrosen.com, 646-992-8303

Azar Led Eli Lilly in Exploiting Patients for Profits; He’s Unfit to Lead HHS

Washington, D.C. – In response to the latest confirmation hearing on President Trump’s nominee, Alex Azar, for Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HSS), Health Care for America Now Co-Directors Ethan Rome and Margarida Jorge released the following statement:

“Alex Azar is unfit to be the next secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. The secretary of HHS should be a champion of health care, not a Big Pharma profiteer who thinks we should end Medicaid as we know it and stand in the way of implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

“As a top executive at Eli Lilly, Azar did everything in his power to expand profits with no concern for the suffering his company’s actions inflicted on patients – including children – who were just trying to access the medication they needed to survive. Under Azar’s leadership, Eli Lilly gamed the system and engaged in systematic price-gouging – almost tripling the price of insulin – putting the needs of shareholders over patients. Now, Azar wants Americans to believe that he will protect their health care and wellbeing despite his record of putting profits over people. The next HHS secretary needs to end this practice and bring costs down – not deliver even more profits for Big Pharma.

“Azar also has been a vocal advocate for deep cuts to Medicaid in the form of so-called state flexibility or block grants, which would strip health care from seniors, people with disabilities, children, and working families. Americans have repeatedly and overwhelmingly rejected these cuts when Republicans tried to ram them through as part of health care repeal.

“Instead of dismantling the ACA at every turn, we need a secretary who will faithfully execute the law and focus on strengthening the ACA and expanding access to affordable care. Unfortunately, Azar has not indicated he will live up to that standard.” 

 

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Health Care for America Now (HCAN) is the national grassroots coalition that ran a $60 million five-and-a-half year campaign from 2008-2013 to pass, protect, and promote the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and protect Medicare and Medicaid. HCAN has come back together to fight the Republicans’ all-out effort to take away America’s health care and put people at the mercy of the health insurance companies again.