When Rep. Katie Hill (D-CA) questioned the obscene amount of money a giant pharmaceutical company was making yesterday in a congressional hearing it all proved just too much for Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) to stand. He lit into a fiery and emotional defense of price-gouging the American public, the likes of which not often seen except in dystopian novels.
File this under: Should be a Veep Plot But Alas, Reality Again. Today the House Oversight Committee held a hearing on the extremely high price of the HIV prevention drug Truvada and the profits that the drug's maker, Gilead, is reaping their patent-protected product. Truvada, which according to the drugmaker reduces risk of HIV infection by 92% to 99% when taken daily by HIV-negative people, currently costs $2,100 per month. The committee heard testimony from doctors, patient advocates, and Daniel O'Day, the Chairman and CEO of Gilead. During the testimony of the latter, Rep. Katie Hill questioned the CEO about company's revenue, which she quoted at $22 billion in 2018, and the compensation of its highest-ranking executives.
All of which got a bit too much for Congressman Chip Roy (R-TX), who then lit into an emotional outburst in defense of...profit and executive pay. Yeah, you read that right.
"I'm really glad they [made a lot of money]!" he exclaimed, already heated. "And I hope they make a lot more!" This is like the climactic Samuel L. Jackson speech in A Time To Kill except utterly dystopian.
The freshman congressman, who also was the ghostwriter of a book by Rick Perry entitled Fed Up!, continued, "To sit here an attack the capitalistic system that produces and distributes medicine that is saving lives around the world? I mean it is just offensive." I'd like to take this moment to remind you that this is a comment in response to a congressperson asking a multi-millionaire how much he made.
Roy continued, "I hope you make a lot of money!... How much cash on hand does Apple have? $245 billion. How much has Apple done to go cure health?" Congratulations to Chip Roy, whose malapropism is now the cornerstone of the Republican party platform. "America 2020: Let's get rid of the scourge of health."