FRAUD IN CHIEF: Biden’s Cancer Charity Spent Over $3.7 Million on Staff Salaries Over Two Year Time While Distributing ZERO in Research Grants, Says Report

WASHINGTON (New York Post) — A cancer charity started by Joe Biden gave out no money to research, and spent most of its contributions on staff salaries, federal filings show.

The Biden Cancer Initiative was founded in 2017 by the former vice president and his wife, Jill Biden, to “develop and drive implementation of solutions to accelerate progress in cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis, research and care and to reduce disparities in cancer outcomes,” according to its IRS mission statement. But it gave out no grants in its first two years, and spent millions on the salaries of former Washington, DC, aides it hired.

The charity took in $4,809,619 in contributions in fiscal years 2017 and 2018, and spent $3,070,301 on payroll in those two years. The group’s president, Gregory Simon, raked in $429,850 in fiscal 2018 (July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019), according to the charity’s most recent federal tax filings.

Simon, a former Pfizer executive and longtime health care lobbyist who headed up the White House’s cancer task force in President Barack Obama’s administration, saw his salary nearly double from the $224,539 he made in fiscal 2017, tax filings show.

Danielle Carnival, former chief of staff for Obama’s cancer initiative, the Cancer Moonshot Task Force, took home $258,207 in 2018.

The charity spent $56,738 on conferences and $59,356 on travel that year. The following year, the travel expenditure swelled to $97,149, and the nonprofit spent $742,953 on conferences, tax filings show.

But under grants distributed, it listed zero.

Simon had said the main point of the charity was not to give out grants, and that its goal was to find ways to accelerate treatment for all, regardless of their economic or cultural backgrounds.

Biden headed up the Cancer Moonshot Task Force when he was veep after his son Beau died of a brain tumor in 2015. After he left office, the Biden Cancer Initiative sought to continue such efforts to provide “urgent” solutions to treating cancer, according to a 2017 press statement announcing its launch.

The Bidens stacked the board with leading oncologists and celebrity cancer survivors, including musician Jimmy Gomez from the Black Eyed Peas.

After only two years, the charity “paused” its operations when Joe Biden and his wife stepped down for his presidential run.

Although the organization is still officially active, according to the IRS, Simon said in a 2019 interview that without the Bidens at the helm, the charity lost its edge.

“We tried to power through but it became increasingly difficult to get the traction we needed to complete our mission,” he told the AP in July 2019.

Neither Simon nor Biden could be reached for comment.

The New York Post’s Isabel Vincent contributed to the contents of this report.


WHITE HOUSE: Trump ‘ensuring patients receive the information they need’ to save money on prescription drugs

The White House — We will work every day to ensure all Americans have access to the quality, affordable medication they need and they deserve.” – President Donald J. Trump

HELPING PATIENTS SAVE MONEY: President Donald J. Trump is signing legislation to help give patients more information to save on their prescription drugs.

  • Gag clauses prevent pharmacists from telling patients when they would pay less for drugs out of their own pocket instead of using their insurance.
  • President Trump is signing legislation ending “gag clauses,” following through on his promise to end these unfair clauses and help save patients money on the drugs they need.
  • The President is signing the Know the Lowest Price Act and the Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act to end gag clauses for patients on Medicare and private plans.
  • The President’s blueprint for lowering drug prices and reducing out-of-pocket costs called for an end to “gag clauses.”

LOWERING DRUG PRICES: The President is working to deliver savings for American patients.

  • President Trump has made lowering drug prices a priority for his Administration and has taken action to achieve this goal.
  • The Food and Drug Administration approved the most generic drug applications ever in 2017.
  • These approvals saved patients an estimated $8.8 billion in 2017 alone.
  • These savings are estimated to jump to $16 billion over one full year after each generic approval in 2017.
  • In May 2018, President Trump released an American Patients First blueprint to lower drug prices and reduce out-of-pocket costs.
  • This blueprint laid out strategies for reform, including improved competition, better negotiation, incentives for lower list prices, and lowering out-of-pocket costs.
  • Fifteen large drug manufacturers responded to the President’s blueprint by announcing price freezes, reductions, and rollbacks.
  • The Trump Administration finalized changes to Medicare’s payment rate for certain drugs that will save seniors an estimated $320 million in drug costs this year.

PROTECTING SENIORS’ HEALTHCARE: President Trump will fight against so-called “Medicare for All” proposals that would take away benefits seniors have paid into all their lives.

  • While some have rallied around a proposal that would end Medicare as we know it, President Trump will fight to ensure seniors receive the benefits into which they have paid.
  • This proposal would lead to an extreme, anti-senior, anti-choice, and anti-consumer government takeover of health care.
  • This so-called “Medicare for All” proposal would establish a government-run, single-payer health care system that experts estimate would cost $32 trillion.
  • Even doubling taxes wouldn’t be enough to pay for this astonishing price-tag.
    Supporters of “Medicare for All” would have no choice but to cut benefits, raise economy-crippling taxes, or both to cover the massive cost
    Many seniors would lose access to their favorite doctors and face long lines for appointments and procedures.
  • “Medicare for All” would eliminate Medicare Advantage plans for millions of seniors and take away seniors’ options for private supplemental coverage.

‘THE RIGHT TO TRY’: President Trump signs law allowing terminally ill patients to seek experimental treatment

Washington, D.C. — President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed into law a bill that will now allow terminally ill patients to bypass the FDA for access to experimental medications.

“People who are terminally ill should not have to go from country to country to seek a cure — I want to give them a chance right here at home,” said the president, who campaigned on the concept of compassionate care.

“Thousands of terminally ill Americans will finally have hope, and the fighting chance, and I think it’s going to better than a chance, that they will be cured, they will be helped, and be able to be with their families for a long time, or maybe just for a longer time,” Trump said while surrounded by terminally ill patients and their families at a bill signing ceremony at the White House Wednesday.

While most Republican House members supported the bill, many Democrats opposed it, claiming it offered “false hope” to patients who had exceeded most standard medical options.

“FDA oversight of access to experimental treatments exists for a reason — it protects patients from potential snake oil salesmen or from experimental treatments that might do more harm than good,” said Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.), ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Supporters of the legislation, however, say the law offers hope and has been a long time coming.

Supporters say, however, it will provide new treatment opportunities for terminally ill patients who have exhausted existing options.

“While a long time coming, today is a monumental win for patients desperately seeking the ‘right to try’ investigational treatments and therapies,” Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and health subcommittee chairman Michael Burgess (R-Texas) said of the president’s signing of the bill into law.

“With ‘right to try’ being the law of the land, we are confident that the Trump Administration, and FDA Commissioner [Scott] Gottlieb, will take both congressional intent and the safety of patients into consideration when implementing this important law.”


SANCTUARY STATE GONE WILD: California to Give free healthcare to all illegals

Sacramento, Ca. (Politico) — California is poised to become the first state in the nation to offer full health coverage to undocumented adults even as the Trump administration intensifies its crackdown by separating families at the border.

The proposal — which would build on Gov. Jerry Brown’s 2015 decision to extend health coverage to all children, regardless of immigration status — is one of the most daring examples yet of blue-state Democrats thumbing their nose at President Donald Trump as they pursue diametrically opposed policies, whether on immigration, climate change, legalized marijuana or health care.

“California has never waited for the federal government, or for a political climate, to be able to take leadership on a whole host of issues,” state Sen. Ricardo Lara, author of the state Senate bill to extend Medicaid coverage to all adults, told POLITICO.

But at a time when Trump is already attempting to re-energize state Republican voters — he met with California conservatives at the White House last week to strategize against the state’s sanctuary policies — the initiative might be risky. For starters, it will be costly: The annual price tag to expand Medicaid benefits to poor adult immigrants without legal status is projected at $3 billion annually. Some also worry that extending health coverage could make California a magnet for undocumented immigrants from other states.

“It would give Republicans relevance in California they would never have before,” said David McCuan, a political analyst and political science professor at Sonoma State University. He suggested the proposal would energize Republican voters, who make up a quarter of the electorate, as well as conservative-leaning unaffiliated voters.

Any meaningful opposition could slow the plan’s progress through the state Legislature despite its strong backing from Democrats, providers and advocates for the poor.

Brown, who is leaving office later this year and has not yet committed to the plan, is required by law to sign or veto bills passed this session by Sept. 30, just five weeks before the midterm elections. And the injection of immigration politics into the universal health care debate will likely provide talking points for both parties.

“It seems to me astounding that California could consider an expansion like this at this particular moment,” said Paul Ginsburg, director of the USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy. He described the plan as “fiscally very dangerous” given California’s fragile long-term financial outlook and the potential negative effects of the Republican tax overhaul on the state’s budget.

But Lara, the son of undocumented Mexican immigrants who grew up without health coverage, contended the state is already paying for health care for the undocumented in the most expensive way possible, through hospital emergency rooms. He pushed unsuccessfully for a single payer health plan for California last year, and argues California needs to be a laboratory for social change by taking the lead on progressive causes.

“We are trying to address the fact that, whether you like it or not,” he said, “our undocumented community needs the care, and we are paying for it anyway.”

Democrats say they want to build on the coverage gains made under Obamacare by targeting the state’s nearly 3 million remaining uninsured — about 60 percent of whom are undocumented immigrants and 1.2 million of whom would qualify for the state’s Medicaid program, known as Medi-Cal, based on their incomes. Companion bills in the state Assembly and Senate have easily passed their respective health committees with party-line votes.

Still, the latest revisions to Brown’s proposed budget last week did not include significant increases in health spending — a move that frustrated some backers of the expansion, who note the state’s budget surplus has swelled to nearly $9 billion — about $3 billion more than expected.

“It’s doable for a fraction of the budget surplus we have,” said Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, a consumer advocacy coalition. “We recognize if we were to do so, we would be the first state to expand Medicaid to an [undocumented] adult population.”

Wright acknowledged the price tag may look alarming but said it should be viewed within the context of Medi-Cal’s $100 billion budget. He also emphasized that covering only poor young people and the elderly — which the budget forecasts estimated at $140 million and $330 million, respectively — could be more achievable in the short term. A Senate health budget sub-committee on Thursday recommended covering undocumented adults over age 65 as part of the Senate funding package to be considered during negotiations.

California already provides emergency and pregnancy-related Medi-Cal benefits for undocumented immigrants to the tune of about $1.7 billion annually. The $3 billion for full Medi-Cal benefits assumes that all eligible adults would enroll in the program over 12 months, which is unlikely.

Micah Weinberg, president of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, said the cost debate must take into account the measure’s broader benefits, including increased worker productivity and improved community health.

“Since most undocumented immigrants are productive members of society, it would, of course, be much better to give them all a path to citizenship and immediately naturalize them to make it easier for them to buy regular health insurance,” Weinberg said. “But just because we have bad immigration policy does not mean we shouldn’t have good health policy. And truly universal coverage is good health policy.”

Other health economists struck a more cautious note.

Jay Bhattacharya, a Stanford physician and health economist, said the plan should have a dedicated funding source, which could mean higher taxes. “Looking at the current surplus and saying we’re likely to have that forever so we should spend more doesn’t seem like a wise idea to me,” Bhattacharya said.

Bhattacharya also expressed concerns that the extension could exacerbate the state’s illegal immigration problems. “If you make a program like this available, undocumented workers in other states might be attracted to California because of this,” he said.

But Lara insisted the bill is not only a long-term cost-saver, it’s the right thing to do.

“All you have to do is say ‘immigration’ in Washington, D.C., and everyone runs to their respective corners,” he said. “That doesn’t happen in California.”