Progressive Activists Ambush Joe Manchin Before Vote to Confirm Big Pharma Executive

By Steven Rosenfeld / AlterNet January 25, 2018, 1:43 PM GMT

On Wednesday, the Senate voted 55-43 to confirm Alex Azar, a former pharmaceutical executive, as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, the nation’s largest federal agency with a $1.1 trillion budget that includes purchase and delivery of medications for an array of federal health programs, including Medicare.

Hours before, progressive activists from Social Security Works, Public Citizen, Credo Action, People’s Action, Other 98, and UNITE HERE delivered 300,000 petitions to three senators urging them to reject Azar’s nomination, primarily because he was a senior executive with Eli Lilly, which was known to price-gouge medications needed by vulnerable populations.

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