Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s Presidential Bid and the Challenges of the 340B Program

Ben H.

Ben H.

Sep 15, 20233 min read


Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s Presidential Bid and the Challenges of the 340B Program

Environmental lawyer and anti-vaccine activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has recently filed paperwork to run for president in 2024 as a Democrat. The 69-year-old Kennedy, son of former New York senator and US attorney general Robert F. Kennedy, is set to announce his candidacy on April 19 in Boston. However, his controversial stance on vaccines and previous removal of his Instagram account for spreading debunked claims about the coronavirus and vaccines raise concerns about his suitability for public office.

Kennedy's decision to enter the political arena is not surprising, considering his family's long history in politics. His sister Kathleen served as the lieutenant governor of Maryland from 1995 to 2003, while his brother Joseph was a congressman from Massachusetts from 1987 to 1999. More recently, his brother Chris Kennedy ran for governor of Illinois in 2018. It seems that the Kennedy family has an inherent drive to make a difference through public service.

On the Republican side, former President Donald Trump has already announced his intention to run for the White House in 2024. Other notable contenders include former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former Vice President Mike Pence are also reportedly considering their own bids.

While the political landscape is already shaping up for the 2024 presidential race, there are other pressing issues that deserve attention. One such issue is the 340B program and its contract pharmacy arrangements. The use of external pharmacies by 340B covered entities to dispense 340B drugs to their patients has seen significant growth in number and size. However, this expansion has led to distortions and inefficiencies in the drug market.

Adam Fein, an industry expert, has identified key problems with the 340B program and proposed policy recommendations to address them. His recommendations include mandating discounts for needy patients, limiting the number and scope of contract pharmacies, ensuring transparency and accountability, and preventing duplicate discounts. These reforms aim to improve the program's effectiveness and prevent abuse.

In light of these issues, it is crucial for policymakers and candidates like Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to address the challenges of the 340B program. Here are three actionable pieces of advice for those involved:

  • 1. Prioritize Public Health: Regardless of political affiliation, candidates and policymakers must prioritize public health and make evidence-based decisions. It is essential to promote vaccination and dispel misinformation to protect the well-being of the population.
  • 2. Reform the 340B Program: Policymakers should consider implementing the proposed reforms put forth by experts like Adam Fein to address the problems associated with the 340B program. By mandating discounts for those in need, limiting the number and scope of contract pharmacies, and ensuring transparency and accountability, the program can be improved to better serve its intended purpose.
  • 3. Foster Healthy Political Discourse: As the 2024 presidential race unfolds, it is crucial for candidates to engage in healthy political discourse. This means focusing on substantive issues and avoiding divisive rhetoric that only perpetuates polarization. By fostering open and respectful discussions, candidates can contribute to a more informed electorate and a stronger democracy.

In conclusion, Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s presidential bid as a Democrat in 2024 raises questions about his controversial views on vaccines. However, it is important to remember that the political landscape involves multiple candidates from both parties. In addition to the heated race for the presidency, it is vital to address pressing issues like the challenges of the 340B program. By prioritizing public health, implementing reforms, and fostering healthy political discourse, candidates and policymakers can contribute to a more effective and accountable healthcare system.


  1. "Robert F. Kennedy Jr. files paperwork to run for president as a Democrat | CNN Politics", (Glasp)
  2. "AdamFein-DrugChannels-340B_RFI-28July2023.pdf", (Glasp)

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