Drug War

More on Big Pharma's Bill

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Timothy Carney, whose work on Obama-administration corporatism has paced the field, writes a bit more about the drug companies' support for Obamacare, which Jacob Sullum flagged yesterday.

In the heated yearlong health fight, President Obama has often accused his opponents of willful misrepresentation, even as he and his allies have endlessly repeated the biggest whopper of all — that the bill would rein in the special interests. […]

Of all the single-industry lobbies in Washington, the largest is the Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America. PhRMA spent $26.2 million on lobbying last year — that's nearly three times as much as the insurance lobby, America's Health Insurance Plans, which spent $8.9 million.

If you include individual companies' lobbying, pharmaceuticals blow away the competition, beating all other industries by 50 percent, according to data at the Center for Responsive Politics.

Given this Big Pharma clout, it's unsurprising that the bill Obama's whipping for — Senate bill — has nearly everything the drug companies wanted: prohibiting reimportation of drugs, preserving Medicare's overpayment for drugs, lengthy exclusivity for biotech drugs, a mandate that states subsidize drugs under Medicaid, hundreds of billions in subsidies for drugs, and more.

If those eyebrows could talk….

PhRMA chief Billy Tauzin, who was vilified by Obama on the campaign trail, worked out much of this sweetheart deal in a West Wing meeting with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. Tauzin visited the White House at least 11 times. […]

Recall that pharmaceutical executives and political action committees dug deep trying to save the flailing candidacy of Democrat Martha Coakley in Massachusetts — a race that was explicitly a referendum on health care. She took in more than 10 times as much drug company cash as Republican Scott Brown.

Whole thing here. Carney talks Obamanomics with Nick Gillespie below:

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  1. Well, until the rid the Senate and the House of corrupt, bought and paid for law makers, nothing will ever come out of it.

    Lou
    http://www.anon-vpn.net.tc

    1. Good luck, you’d have to rid the world of politicians then. Republicans and Democrats are mutually corrupt. In fact, maybe it is the institution itself that attracts them. Welcome to the plunder machine, my dearies!

      1. fyi – anything with that “anon” link is a bot… not much use arguing with it (;

  2. even as he and his allies have endlessly repeated the biggest whopper of all ? that the bill would rein in the special interests.

    Is that really the biggest whopper? I think we need a vote to rank the most outrageous misrepresentations of the HealthCareDebate(TM).

    1. I’m wavering between the claim it will be deficit neutral and the one that it will lower overall health expenditures.

    2. “If you like your insurance plan you’ll be able to keep it.”

  3. “PhRMA chief Billy Tauzin, who was vilified by Obama on the campaign trail, worked out much of this sweetheart deal in a West Wing meeting with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. Tauzin visited the White House at least 11 times. […]”

    You know if we still had something besides a state run legacy media, that would make a great story.

    1. Recall that pharmaceutical executives and political action committees dug deep trying to save the flailing candidacy of Democrat Martha Coakley in Massachusetts ? a race that was explicitly a referendum on health care. She took in more than 10 times as much drug company cash as Republican Scott Brown.

      Well, with such wise investment of their profits, it is little wonder that they would lobby for such protectionist measures of their market racket.

  4. Hey, Obamatrons, care to explain this? Oh, right…no one has the audacity to actively support Obama any more. Because he FUCKED YOU ROYALLY.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Oh man, I don’t know whether I’m distressed at having a total scumbag in the White House actively trying to ride this country to hell, or overjoyed at the fact that partisan scum are being raped hard by the guy they supported for partisan reasons. I need to figure this out. Why can’t it be both?

    1. Did you see the quotes from Kucinich today, vs. quotes from February in which he said he’d never support the bill because it only benefits insurance companies? Priceless.

      It is really fun to see a political party coming apart at the seems.

      1. Seams.

        1. Actually, I think “seems” works better. The illusion is being dispelled, and all that.

          1. Stop flogging RC’s Law, RC. You already get enough mileage as it is. I should kill you and take credit for that law.

            1. It won’t work. The Internet is forever. Robotic descendants living somewhere in NGC 6744 will cite Mr. Dean’s law.

        2. Let be be finale of seem.

      2. This is what happens when one side is united against the other. If they had even one Republican vote, people like Kucinich could say “yeah the bill has bad parts but we had to put those parts in to placate the evil Republicans”. But when you don’t have a single vote from the other side, you can’t say that. So you have to honest, which is never a good thing for a politician.

        1. The whole appeal of Kucinich used to be that he did not say things like that. He is must be weakening as he ages and is now a sellout.

          1. I think Rahm Emmanuel waterboarded him into submission.

  5. So, any chance that Kucinich loses in November? Who’s his opposition?

    1. No chance at all, I guarantee it.

    2. I wonder if Drew Carey could beat him.

  6. “Tauzin…worked out much of this sweetheart deal in a West Wing meeting with…Rahm Emanuel.”

    Was it in the West Wing or showers at the congressional gym? LOL

  7. Believe it or not, there are still people out there who think the Presidential Suit is doing a good job. The best part is, they really think he’s doing a good job of being NotBush.

    Man, they’re fun to laugh at.

  8. Man, they’re fun to laugh at.

    They would be, except then i wouldn’t get invited to family dinners anymore.

    1. Bug, or feature?

    2. I feel your pain. Are we related?

  9. It is really fun to see a political party coming apart at the seems.

    This would be an awesome campaign ad: “Look at the record. Your President has fallen apart at the seems.”

  10. Of course, the Obamapologists will ignore this completely. It’s a pro-corporation bill. I thought corporations were bad.

  11. This proves the worst result of the Citizens United decision will be more corporate money to entrenched power. Democrats braying about the evil corporations is nothing but a smoke screen.

  12. You will have this sort of thing as long as we avoid building the wall of separation between government and business. That’s the problem, not that there are corrupt politicians, as the idiotic “Lou Rawls” posted above. You create a political system in which businesses have nothing to gain from working the system, because there is no control of business by the government. Complete laissez faire.

    Until that happens (probably never), the only smart move is to become shareholders in the corporations who receive favors from the government. Then the whole thing becomes a transfer of wealth from non-share owners (poor people, idiots, head-in-sanders, etc.) to share-owners, which is little different than most other transfers facilitated by our government, but with the advantage that anyone can buy shares and take part in the looting.

  13. You will have this sort of thing as long as we avoid building the wall of separation between government and business.

    Can’t be done. The Iron Law:

    Money and power will always find each other.

  14. She took in more than 10 times as much drug company cash as
    Republican Scott Brown.

    That would imply that he still took in a significant amount of money
    from the drug lobby. Wouldn’t that put him in the pocket of the drug
    companies also?

    1. There is apparently no difference between drinking one beer and drinking ten beers.

      1. Only if your stopped for DUI.

  15. Money and power will always find each other.

    Money is power – nothing more, nothing less.

    1. Nonsense, Johnny. Money is a medium of exchange. One of the many, many things it can and will be exchanged for is power, but they are not the same thing at all.

    2. Money is influence. It would only power if you couldn’t turn money down.

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