July 14 - The Shift in US Policy Over Syria; How Gilead Pharma Gouges Patients and Dodges Taxes; Incarceration Has Replaced Psychiatric Hospitalization

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Full Program


Part 1

We begin with the leaked memo obtained by the Washington Post indicating a major shift in U.S. policy over Syria which apparently is being negotiated in Moscow between Secretary of State Kerry and President Putin. Joshua Landis, the Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma who writes the daily newsletter and blog on Syrian politics, “Syria Comment”, joins us to discuss the extent to which the U.S. is planning to sellout the moderate Syrian opposition and prolong the Assad family’s hold on a country they are largely responsible for destroying. With the Secretary of Defense opposing this policy shift, we will examine the internal battles within the Obama Administration and how the U.S. and Russia plan to work closer in coordinating bombing targets that focus on “daesh”, the Islamic State, and Al Nusra.

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Part 2

Then, following a recent article in The Huffington Post by Bernie Sanders “Taxpayers Funded a Lifesaving Drug and Guess What Happened Next?”, we speak with Frank Clementethe Executive Director and co-founder of Americans for Tax Fairness who is the lead author of a new report from Americans for Tax Fairness, “Gilead Sciences: Price Gouger, Tax Dodger”. We look into this report that is the basis for the Sanders article and find out how a tax-payer funded drug that treats Hepatitis C is now being sold by Gilead for $1,000 a pill making it the costliest prescription that U.S. public and private insurers, taxpayers and patients pay for. Meanwhile Gilead has dodged paying $10 billion on taxes on the obscene profits it has gouged from the public.  

Part 3

Then finally we speak with Dr. Azza AbuDagga, a health services researcher at Public Citizen’s Health Research Group who is the lead author of a new report that examines how incarceration has replaced psychiatric hospitalization for thousands of inmates with serious mental illness in America. We discuss how county jails are ill-equipped to deal with this overwhelming problem that is the result of the closure of State Psychiatric Hospitals and the deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill who have been dumped on the streets and end up in the criminal justice system.