Medicare set to negotiate prices for ten drugs: For the first time ever, the federal government plans to negotiate Medicare drug prices with pharmaceutical companies. The ten drugs the feds plan to barter over include medications for diabetes, arthritis, Crohn's disease, and leukemia. Between June 2022 and May 2023, the drugs chosen for negotiation cost taxpayers $50.5 billion and made up about "20% of the total cost of drugs in the Medicare prescription drug program," according to Reuters. Pharmaceutical companies and the US Chamber of Commerce have already filed various lawsuits against the potential federal price caps.
Here are the first 10 drugs selected for Medicare price negotiation:— Secretary Xavier Becerra (@SecBecerra) August 29, 2023
✅ Fiasp; Fiasp FlexTouch; Fiasp PenFill; NovoLog; NovoLog FlexPen; NovoLog PenFillhttps://t.co/9GMDe1RHPy
Light rail planning continues: On Monday, Sound Transit decided to delay for two years a decision on new downtown and South Lake Union light rail stations, according to the Seattle Times. The Urbanist says the unnecessary move to shift the Denny station costs $170 million and comes after intense lobbying from Amazon, who apparently wants the shift to ease access to its parking garages during construction. Here's a little background from Hannah on all the drama over the Chinatown-International District Station, and here's a video from Seattle Subway that shows how bad the CID station shift would be for transit riders.
Here's a condensed version of our walk along the very bad Sounder/Amtrak to North of CID Transfer that is being proposed as a replacement for the transit hub promised to voters in ST3.— Seattle Subway (@SeattleSubway) August 23, 2023
10 Minutes and 52 seconds not including time to get to the platform or wait for the train. pic.twitter.com/51thUHkt9c
Embedded in Lake City: Incredible headline from KIRO 7 this morning, "Crime Continues in Seattle's Lake City" for a story about a man who someone shot and killed. The story doesn't link to any specific crimes that have continued, but maybe they're referring to the guy allegedly trying to lure a kid into his car? I'm not sure, but I'm a 20 minute walk from this shooting, so I'll keep an eye out for continuing crime.
Victoria Clipper workers prepared to strike: Unifor Local 114 voted to strike over Labor Day weekend if worker demands aren't met, according to KING 5. The strike could affect customer service, ticketing, baggage handling, and docking—basically everything needed for one of the busiest tourism weekends of the year. Worker demands include higher wages and better job security.
Wild interview with HUD Secretary: The Seattle Times interviewed US Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge about homelessness, who managed to say nothing meaningful but who did give vague kudos to Seattle. When asked about specific missing federal policy we need to help get people housed, Fudge said, "I don’t even want to say it’s from the federal response," before launching into how all levels of government need to respond, while not explaining anything about how the federal government could contribute to that effort. So glad you stopped in, Fudge.
Rain returns: I'm literally giddy.
Showers will be ongoing off and on Tuesday. A few thunderstorms will be possible with the showers, primarily east of the I-5 corridor. Main threats from these storms are brief downpours and cloud to ground lightning. Remember when thunder roars, go indoors! #wawx pic.twitter.com/75JFFgH6QW— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) August 29, 2023
Trump arraignment scheduled for Sept 6: Trump and his gang of 18 allies will be arraigned next week in Georgia on charges of conspiracy to overturn the presidential election. In Washington D.C., a judge also set Trump's trial date on similar federal charges for March 4, the day before super Tuesday. A few weeks after that, Trump needs to be in New York to appear for trial on state charges. Busy bee!
Meanwhile, on Monday former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told a federal judge that he was just doing his job when he tried to overturn the state's presidential election results, according to the Associated Press. Meadows wants the case moved to federal court.
Hurricane Idalia expected to hit Florida Wednesday: The National Hurricane Center said Idalia strengthened to a Category 1 storm early Tuesday, according to USA Today. Experts predict the storm could make landfall on Florida's Gulf Coast, bringing 75 mph winds. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency in 46 counties.
Alabama wants to try a new execution method: In a court filing requesting an execution date for a 58-year-old man, Alabama's attorney general's office said the state plans to kill the man by nitrogen hypoxia, according to the Associated Press. The execution method forces a person to breath only nitrogen, which suffocates them. Alabama and two other states—Oklahoma and Mississippi—approved the execution method during a 2018 lethal injection drug shortage, but the method is untested.
In honor of Brittany Howard performing at Bumbershoot this weekend, and all the news in Georgia, a little treat for your Tuesday.