Politicians, like the rich, are different. In some respects, dangerously so. Those on Capitol Hill have their own on staff physicians, and whatever drugs they want, at any time, all for the very low cost of around $600.00 a year. There’s a nice deal for you.
Nearly every day for at least two decades pharmaceutical drugs have been brought by the carload to the Capitol – an arrangement so under the radar that even pharmacy lobbyists who regularly pitch Congress on their industry aren’t aware of it.
The deliveries arrive at the secretive Office of the Attending Physician, an elaborate medical clinic where Navy doctors triage medical emergencies and provide basic health care for lawmakers who pay an annual fee of just over $600. Every one comes from Washington’s oldest community pharmacy, Grubb’s.
Mike Kim, the reserved pharmacist-turned-owner of the pharmacy, said he has gotten used to knowing the most sensitive details about some of the most famous people in Washington.
“At first it’s cool, and then you realize, I’m filling some drugs that are for some pretty serious health problems as well. And these are the people that are running the country,” Kim said, listing treatments for conditions like diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
“It makes you kind of sit back and say, ‘Wow, they’re making the highest laws of the land and they might not even remember what happened yesterday.'”
Having already dealt with the fallout from having a sitting president who had Alzheimer’s disease in office (Reagan), it would probably be right good idea if a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s barred one from the political workforce. Most diseases are manageable, but leaving those who have Alzheimer’s disease in place while making extremely serious decisions about policy…uh, no.
The handy dandy pharmaceutical stock was news to me, however, I can’t say I’m surprised or shocked. There are a whole lot of reasons that people won’t give up such a cushy job, and this would be one of them. There’s much more to the story, you can read about it here.