Memo Confirms Big Giveaways In White House Deal With Big Pharma
“It says the White House agreed to oppose any congressional efforts to use the government’s leverage to bargain for lower drug prices or import drugs from Canada — and also agreed not to pursue Medicare rebates or shift some drugs from Medicare Part B to Medicare Part D, which would cost Big Pharma billions in reduced reimbursements.” Why am I not shocked? “Obama is walking a tightrope here. He wants to keep PhRMA from opposing the bill. . . .”
“Keep PhRMA from opposing the bill?” Oh yeah, we wouldn’t want to have a bill that PhRMA opposed – not with a Majority in Congress – and, a President who was going to champion Change through Reform. Instead, PhRMA is investing $150 million for a media blitz – in Favor. After step-by-step revelations of this variety, how much REFORM should rational people expect? This is the same “appeasement” mentality which has kept the disgraceful republicans empowered, as evidenced by their ongoing and concerted campaigns, polluted with the escalation of the most scandalous (“Death Panel,” “Nazi”) and vociferous Lies. It leaves us (Progressives, commoners) trapped in a (worsening) status quo- while the other sides continue notching victories, though outnumbered 70% to 30%. Seeking bipartisan support and consensus can be valuable in bringing together ideas toward solving certain problems. It is in how far one (or a group) goes with that aim in mind that the original goals may evolve from advancement to insignificance, from welcoming to intrusive. Leaders who propose major revisions regarding a cause are also expected to teach, from a solid, sustainable viewpoint – while being able to discern the quality of shared lessons. If only unreasonable or regressive alternatives are offered as replies from an audience that is shut off from learning, or unyielding to progress, a leader with conviction will not give in and diminish the results of the revisal to such a level that a skeleton remains of an initial objective. Moreover, in an adversarial debate, if one side is mollified to such a degree that the other loses its core, the adversary does not become an ally – since it triumphs at the giver’s overwhelming expense.
Greg Palast: “The Big Pharma kingpins did not actually agree to cut their prices. Their promise with Obama is something a little oilier: they apparently promised that, over ten years, they will reduce the amount at which they would otherwise raise drug prices. Got that? In other words, the Obama deal locks in a doubling of drug costs. . . .”
No confrontation. No hard-fought battles. No standing up, regardless of outcome. No glory. (We have seen the same scenario with respect to Wall Street (repealing the “Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act?”), unchallenged Machiavellian bankruptcy laws, nothing immediate in credit card legislation (or even capped rates), torture as “policy” differences, various other war crimes overlooked, nationalized propaganda campaigns deemed legal, etc.) We were sold on a warrior for change. What did we get when it came to fighting for what was promised? Yes, he still gives soaring speeches. However, there will be no “Red Badge of Courage” given – if all the proletariat are left bleeding in the trenches, without ever seeing their leader elevated – beyond words.
No Reform. No Single-Payer. No (Meaningful) Public Option. No 100% Subsidies (for those under the median income). No Price Controls. Then, Take Out The Mandate That We All Have To Buy a Policy. PERIOD.
Update: “The Obama administration sent signals on Sunday that it has backed away from its once-firm vision of a government organization to provide for the nation’s 50 million uninsured and is now open to using nonprofit cooperatives instead. Kathleen Sebelius . . . said on Sunday morning that an additional government insurer is ‘not the essential element’ of the administration’s plan to overhaul the country’s health care system.” “The health care industry prefers that format. . . .” Of course they do, “cooperatives would not have as much sway over the prices Americans pay . . . !” A “Robust Public Option” was an element our president and Majority in Congress supposedly would not back down from. “The majority gives, gives in, and gives away – until there’s nothing left” – Except a Mandate for Us to Buy Policies. We are about to be delivered, defenseless, right into their anticipating hands.
Almost 30 key lawmakers helping draft landmark health-care legislation have financial holdings in the industry, totaling nearly $11 million worth of personal investments in a sector that could be dramatically reshaped by this summer’s debate. The list of members who have personal investments in the corporations that will be affected by the legislation . . . includes Congress’s most powerful leaders and a bipartisan collection of lawmakers in key committee posts. Their total health-care holdings could be worth $27 million, because congressional financial disclosure forms released yesterday require reporting of only broad ranges of holdings rather than precise values of assets. Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), for instance, has at least $50,000 invested in a health-care index, and Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), a senior member of the health committee, has between $254,000 and $560,000 worth of stock holdings in major health-care companies, including Bristol-Myers Squibb and Merck. The family of Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.), a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee drafting that chamber’s legislation, held at least $3.2 million in more than 20 health-care companies at the end of last year.
“All I’m saying is … that the public option, whether we have it or we don’t have it, is not the entirety of health care reform. This is just one sliver of it,” the president said. Asked Sunday if Obama would accept a bill lacking a public option, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the president insists on more competition in the health insurance marketplace to offer consumers better choices. ‘The bottom line … is: Do individuals looking for health insurance in the private market have choice and competition? If we have that, the president will be satisfied.'”
Set up. Back away. Sell out. Claim victory.
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