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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Expose of how big pharma worked on the sausage of Obamacare's social justice

See here for a fascinating, detailed account of the behind the scenes activities in the creation of one part of the Affordable Care Act.

Details of the cahoot activities were gleaned from numerous E-mails studied by the House Energy and Commerce committee.

After an agreement was reached between PhRMA (the lobby group for big pharma) and the white house they donated 150 million for an ad campaign and another 70 million for two front groups to advocate for passage of the bill. Big Pharma was able to block efforts to allow re-importation of medications and to enable CMS to negotiate drug prices for medicare part D.

The WSJ on line article linked above includes this paragraph.

At least PhRMA deserves backhanded credit for the competence of its political operatives—unlike, say, the American Medical Association. A thread running through the emails is a hapless AMA lobbyist importuning Ms. DeParle and Mr. Messina for face-to-face meetings to discuss reforming the Medicare physician payment formula. The AMA supported ObamaCare in return for this "doc fix," which it never got.

 If the lobbyists for AMA were hapless, what can you say about the lobbyists for the medical device manufacturing sector? See here for an article indicating that now even liberal Democratic senators seem to belatedly realize that the tax on that sector will cause the loss of jobs .

Perhaps the Obamacare sausage maker who should be singled out for special recognition is Elizabeth Fowler who some (including Max Baucus who should know) have said is the real author of ACA. Another important aspect of the cahooting,crony capitalism,baptist and the bootlegger world of legislation is the revolving door aspect. See here for how flagrant that process can be with a detailed chronology of Dr. Fowler's resume.Here are comments in that regard by Glenn Greenwald,by whom very little gets by:

  Ms. Fowler “will receive ample rewards from that same industry as she peddles her influence in government and exploits her experience with its inner workings to work on that industry’s behalf, all of which has been made perfectly legal by the same insular, Versailles-like Washington culture that so lavishly benefits from all of this.”

h/t Dr. G.Keith Smith for reference to House Committee's report

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