Probably the most infuriating figure in the Senate today is Joe Manchin. He seems perfectly comfortable in the role of foil against efforts to break the McConnell embargo against progressive efforts in Congress.
There are some uncomfortable similarities between Manchin and McConnell. First, they both seem happy to equate obstruction with power. Like the petty bureaucrat that sees his lot in life improved by telling people what can’t be done, these two are ironically joined at the hip in the benefit of corporate sponsors at the expense of the actual majority of the American public.
McConnell’s corporate relationships have been long explored including the familial one. His personal wealth seems to have ballooned in his time in office.
But let’s take a look at Manchin’s familial connection. Manchin’s daughter is none other than Heather Bresch, CEO of price-gouging pharma company, Mylan—makers of the EpiPen.
With Bresch at the helm, Mylan raised the price of the EpiPen from about $50 to over $600. It should be noted, that Mylan did not develop this product, they simply acquired it. Development of auto-injector system was 100 percent financed by US taxpayers. The device was originally developed to administer a nerve gas antidote to a soldier in battle and was designed to penetrate military fatigues with a needle and inject the drug. Mylan did not change the device, they just changed what it delivers to Epinephrine to prevent anaphylactic shock in severe allergy situations.
Not only have consumers been ripped off by Mylan, but the US Treasury as well. In an article from Dr. Lee Rogers, “Bresch led Mylan through complex and controversial corporate tax inversion to base Mylan’s headquarters (domicile) in the Netherlands in an effort to avoid paying US corporate taxes. The corporate executives still live in the US and run the company from the US. The tax inversion is expected to reap the company an additional 10% in profits.”
Bresch was hired at Mylan, originally based in West Virginia, through the influence of her father. That influence also helped her rise through the ranks eventually to land as CEO.
Manchin is labeled a Democrat but his functional activities really come down to protecting corporate interests in Congress. And by opposing HR-1, the For the People Act, those interests are at our expense, just like the family business.