Wouldn’t it be nice, congressional pharmacy edition

You might have heard of the Office of the Attending Physician, Congress’s and the Supreme Court’s special medical home, where for the annual fee of a little more than $600, Members of Congress can get all of their routine medical care, including x-rays, lab work, and referrals. It even coordinates when specialist care is needed, bringing doctors to the capitol and often with no additional charge. Pretty darned sweet deal, huh, for all those Republicans whose number one goal is to take health care away from pretty much everyone else.

But that’s not all. There’s another pretty sweet deal involved here, where members can also get all their prescription drugs provided from that office. The drugs are brought to the Hill almost daily from the local pharmacy, Grubb’s. That’s where it gets kind of interesting for the pharmacist.

Mike Kim, the reserved pharmacist-turned-owner of the pharmacy, said he has gotten

to knowing the most sensitive details about some of the most famous people in Washington.
“At first it’s cool, and then you realize, I’m filling some drugs that are for some pretty serious health problems as well. And these are the people that are running the country,” Kim said, listing treatments for conditions like diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

“It makes you kind of sit back and say, ‘Wow, they’re making the highest laws of the land and they might not even remember what happened yesterday.’”

Note that Kim followed up with Stat News to clarify that he is “not aware of any member that actually has Alzheimer’s and would certainly not disclose any such information if I did know. … Patient privacy is a very serious matter that I am committed to upholding.” That makes his original remark seem rather odd, as if he was just pulling Alzheimers out of thin air and doesn’t actually think that there could be members who “might not even remember what happened yesterday.” And he totally didn’t retract that because either his contract with Congress or his license might have been jeopardized by his loose lips.

The health of certain members aside, here’s just one more way in which the people making decisions about whether or not you have health care have absolutely no clue how any of this works in the real world. And not just because of whatever ailment they might have.

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