Sunday, August 9, 2009

Deal with the Devil

The deal is with the Pharmaceutical Companies.

When this article came out by the New York Times many waited to see or hear if the Obama Administration would rebuke it, but they were mum.

Pressed by industry lobbyists, White House officials on Wednesday assured drug makers that the administration stood by a behind-the-scenes deal to block any Congressional effort to extract cost savings from them beyond an agreed-upon $80 billion.

Drug industry lobbyists reacted with alarm this week to a House health care overhaul measure that would allow the government to negotiate drug prices and demand additional rebates from drug manufacturers.

In response, the industry successfully demanded that the White House explicitly acknowledge for the first time that it had committed to protect drug makers from bearing further costs in the overhaul. The Obama administration had never spelled out the details of the agreement.

“We were assured: ‘We need somebody to come in first. If you come in first, you will have a rock-solid deal,’ ” Billy Tauzin, the former Republican House member from Louisiana who now leads the pharmaceutical trade group, said Wednesday. “Who is ever going to go into a deal with the White House again if they don’t keep their word? You are just going to duke it out instead.”

A deputy White House chief of staff, Jim Messina, confirmed Mr. Tauzin’s account of the deal in an e-mail message on Wednesday night.

“The president encouraged this approach,” Mr. Messina wrote. “He wanted to bring all the parties to the table to discuss health insurance reform.”

As we look for COST SAVINGS in restructuring the health care system, of course, you look at the cost of DRUGS the government purchases from the pharmaceutical companies. President Bush took serious heat on his Medicare bill for prescription drugs, primarily that it was a win-win for pharmaceutical companies. And it was. Now with the health care fight at an all time high, mostly from organized insurance companies and lobbyist groups, deals must be brokered.

So, the White House, assured drug makers that the administration stood by a behind-the-scenes deal to block any Congressional effort to extract cost savings from them beyond an agreed-upon $80 billion. Meaning the pharmaceutical companies are only giving up 80 billion dollars, anything past that the White House must protect their deal and stop any legislation that may try to extract more money from Big Pharma. That is the deal.

With this deal, the pharmaceutical industry is ready to spend $150 Million Dollars in advertising for the Obama Administration health care plan.
The drug industry has authorized its lobbyists to spend as much as $150 million on television commercials supporting President Obama’s health care overhaul, beginning over the August Congressional recess, people briefed on the plans said Saturday.

The unusually large scale of the industry’s commitment to the cause helps explain some of a contentious back-and-forth playing out in recent days between the odd-couple allies over a deal that the White House struck with the industry in June to secure its support. The terms of the deal were not fully disclosed. Both sides had announced that the drug industry would contribute $80 billion over 10 years to the cost of the health care overhaul without spelling out the details.

The reason that bits and pieces are being leaked out is that congressional democrats were prepared and ready to go after the pharmaceutical industry for MORE MONEY. The industry got worried and leaked the information to the press. This put the pressure on the Obama Administration to come forward with what the deal is, and they have.

For this deal, the Obama Administration will get ads run on television about health care reform supported by the pharmaceutical industry. These ads are to run in all 50 states.

That is the deal with the devil.

As my husband said, "Well, he had to make a deal with somebody." Yes, I guess he did but it will be an eye opener for many when they will recall what Candidate Obama promised to do.
Obama: "Congress exempted Medicare from being able to negotiate for the cheapest available price. And that was a profound..."

(Starts 4 minutes, 9 seconds in.) "Of course," Obama said on June 3, 2007, "part of that has to do with the fact that, with the Medicare prescription drug bill, for example, the Congress specifically exempted Medicare from being able to negotiate for the cheapest available price. And that was a profound mistake."

Obama: "Unless we change that politics, we're going to continue to see the waste that we're seeing in the entitlement programs"....

That is the problem. Candidate Obama campaigned against what the Bush Administration did with blocking Medicare from negotiating for cheaper drug prices. In the Bush bill Medicare is prohibited from negotiating and MUST take the prices that is given by the pharmacetical companies.

The Obama deal does practically the same thing, because let's be real, 80 Billion in cuts from the pharmaceutical industry is NOTHING, compared to what is actually raked in yearly by these companies.

Politics as usual. Deals cut that many won't like. Will there really be any reform?

That is the question, "Will there really be any reform?" This makes many wonder after hearing that Senator Dick Durbin is willing to drop the public option. And those that live in Illinois, you know WHAT TO DO, here is the contact information for Mr. Durbin.

Lastly, for all of this we can thank Rahm Emanuel, Obama's general who brokered the deal.

Folks, stay tuned. This is not over yet.

Cross-posted @ Daily Kos

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