Thursday, August 13, 2009

Leaked memo, what the White House gave up for Big PhRMa support


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.

In exchange, the Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers Association (PhRMA) agreed to cut $80 billion in projected costs to taxpayers and senior citizens over ten years. Or, as the memo says: "Commitment of up to $80 billion, but not more than $80 billion."

The White House and PhRMa can denounce a deal was not made, but why is PhRMa putting up an ad buy to support the Obama Administration health insurance reform? I can answer the question, because there is a deal out there. Sure, they don't want to say what it is, but none the less there is a deal.

The problem with the Obama Administration is a couple. First, Obama did campaign on lower drug costs and this deal with Big PhRMa is business as usual. Second, Obama campaigned on transparency and they are surely not being transparent here.
Critics on Capitol Hill and online responded with outrage at the reports that Obama had gone behind their backs and sold the reform movement short. Furthermore, the deal seemed to be a betrayal of several promises made by then-Sen. Obama during the presidential campaign, among them that he would use the power of government to drive down the costs of drugs to Medicare and that negotiations would be conducted in the open.

President Obama said that health care legislation would be hard and I see how deals can be cut, but these are the same jokers that have continued to turn the knife in the public's back FOR YEARS. There are seniors out here right now who must decide if they will spend their money on food or their medicine because Medicare does not cover everything. My aunt's monthly medicine bill exceeds $600.00 a month, that is not covered by Medicare. While Medicare is a great program, it does not cover all prescription medication costs, especially for many seniors who are not well off, wealthy but strapped on a very tight monthly budget.

This deal reeks of Rahm Emanuel all over it, I may be wrong but my gut tells me I am right. This deal, to me is just wrong.

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