In recent days, we at CFIF have marked the ignominious one-year anniversary of the Biden Administration…
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Drug Price Controls: On 9/13, Let's End the Indefensible 9-13 Small Molecule/Large Molecule Protection Disparity

In recent days, we at CFIF have marked the ignominious one-year anniversary of the Biden Administration's misnamed "Inflation Reduction Act" (IRA) by noting its particularly negative impact on pharmaceutical innovation and, in turn, the nation's health and wellbeing.

As acknowledged by the United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security  as well as groups like the American Cancer Society, Americans are already confronting alarming and unprecedented drug shortages in the wake of the IRA.

To mark today's date of September 13 - or 9/13 - it's appropriate to note a different but significant 9-13:  That refers to the indefensible distinction that the IRA makes between what are known as "small-molecule" and "large-molecule" drugs.

Specifically, the IRA imposes destructive price controls…[more]

September 13, 2023 • 03:24 PM

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Court Blasts Biden's Anti-Work Vaccine Mandate Print
By Betsy McCaughey
Wednesday, November 17 2021
The Constitution limits what the federal government can make people do, even in emergencies.

Working Americans got good news on Friday. They may not have to worry about getting laid off because of qualms about the COVID-19 vaccine. A federal appeals court suspended the Biden administration's attempt to mandate the shots at private sector workplaces with 100 or more employees.

Under President Joe Biden's order, which would go into effect Jan. 4, employees who refuse the shots have to submit to weekly testing at their own expense or lose their jobs. 

Vaccines are not required to collect welfare or food stamps, or to come across the southern border and apply for asylum. They're just required to work. Go figure.

Justifying the mandate, Biden said his "patience" was "wearing thin " and "too many people remain unvaccinated."

But a three-judge panel in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals slammed Biden's ends-justifies-the-means approach. The Constitution limits what the federal government can make people do, even in emergencies.

It's in the public's interest, Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt wrote, to protect "our constitutional structure and" maintain "the liberty of individuals to make intensely personal decisions according to their own convictions  even, or perhaps particularly, when those decisions frustrate government officials."

And exasperate their liberal media allies. CNN bashed the Fifth Circuit as "notoriously conservative." Vox dismissed it as a "right-wing panel." Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus slammed the judges' "stingy vision of the federal government's powers" and threw up her hands: "Maintaining our constitutional structure? How about saving lives?"  

Conspicuously lacking in the left's response is a legal defense of the mandate. It's indefensible. Even before Friday's ruling, Biden's spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre told employers to bulldoze ahead, disregarding legal challenges.

That shows how little the Biden administration and Democrats care about the rule of law and individual freedoms.

The Fifth Circuit judges deemed the mandate recklessly "overinclusive." Rather than using "a delicately handled scalpel" to identify workplaces where unvaccinated workers may pose a severe risk  such as meatpacking plants, where employees work shoulder to shoulder  federal regulators used "a one-size-fits-all sledgehammer." 

At the same time, said the judges, the mandate is inexplicably "underinclusive," not affecting anyone in smaller workplaces, as if the virus passes over them. 

And how about people who don't work? The judges didn't raise the issue, but the public keeps asking about it. 

The Fifth Circuit also balked at using the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to weasel through a mandate that far exceeds that agency's authority and circumvents Congress. Some reports called it "the ultimate work-around." 

Not that congressional action would have done the trick. The judges doubted Congress has the authority to compel individuals to get vaccinated, like states and local governments do. 

The Constitution's commerce clause has been stretched like a rubber band over the last century to support expansions of federal power in economic areas, but it can't support mandatory vaccination, which the judges called a "noneconomic inactivity." 

This case is headed for the U.S. Supreme Court, where the mandate is unlikely to survive. As Justice Neil Gorsuch opined in another COVID-19 case, "civil liberties face grave risks when governments proclaim indefinite states of emergency." 

In the meantime, Republicans in Congress are seizing the opportunity to highlight how the mandate makes working people into suckers, while no one else is being forced to choose between their personal freedom and putting food on the table.

Using the Congressional Review Act, a handy tool to overturn agency regulations, Republicans will be calling for a vote of disapproval against the vaccine mandate. Even if it passes both houses, Biden will likely veto it. Getting two-thirds of both houses to override Biden is unlikely. Even so, calling the vote will be a pretty sight, with moderate Democrats squirming about forcing vaccine mandates on their constituents, when members of Congress and their staffs don't have to get the jabs to keep their jobs. 

It's the typical Washington D.C. hypocrisy: Rules good enough for thee but not for me.  


Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York and author of "The Next Pandemic," available at Amazon.com. 

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Notable Quote   
 
"The 2024 presidential election is over a year away, but the left's legal assault on common-sense election integrity measures has already begun.Last month, a district court in San Antonio ruled that Texas cannot enforce the provision of Senate Bill 1 which established a voter identification requirement for mail in voting in Texas. The next day, a district court in Atlanta ruled against Georgia Senate…[more]
 
 
— Chad Ennis, Vice President of Honest Elections Project
 
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