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Big Pharma Lackey

It seems this whole week we’ve been told how the “big insurance” companies, evil as they are, have been responsible for the “astroturfing” or fake grass roots movement against Obama’s health-care plan. The gist of it is that there is no real outrage, that most people want this health-care plan and that the loud mouths showing up at these meetings are there to just cause trouble, shipped in by big health insurance companies. So, (if true, which it’s not) if this is such a big deal, why is it that it’s perfectly fine that big pharma has cozied up with the Obama White House to get this deal done:

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.

With House Democrats moving to extract more than that just as the drug makers finalized their advertising plans, the industry lobbyists pressed the Obama administration for public reassurances that it had agreed to cap the industry’s additional costs at $80 billion. The White House, meanwhile, has struggled to mollify its most pivotal health industry ally without alienating Congressional Democrats who want to demand far more of the drug makers. White House officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

As Michelle Malkin said:
Big Pharma + Dear Leader = Crazy delicious.
Hope and Change!

Right, so it’s perfectly fine for drug companies to enter a “secret” deal with the White House (most transparent White House evah!), but it’s evil for insurance companies to come out and oppose this plan? I mean, $150 million is nothing to sneeze at, that’s a lot of jack to throw around at a bill that is pretty unpopular. With all partisan bickering aside, why is the White House making secret deals with large lobbying groups in the first place?

Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Obama run on a platform of “hope” and “change”, specifically vowing to stop the secret backroom dealings that happen in Washington DC? Does this disturb anyone else? It seems to disturb Robert Reich, even he is uneasy about these kinds of dealing:

How soon until big industries and their Washington lobbyists have become so politically powerful that secret White House-industry deals like this are prerequisites to any important legislation? When will it become standard practice that such deals come with hundreds of millions of dollars of industry-sponsored TV advertising designed to persuade the public that the legislation is in the public’s interest? (Any Democrats and progressives who might be reading this should ask themselves how they’ll feel when a Republican White House cuts such deals to advance its own legislative priorities.)

This is what I keep reminding my friends, and it’s something that Pelosi and Reid need to remember too: Some day the Republicans are going to control the White House and Congress again, it might be 10 years, it might be 4 years, who knows. However, what you don’t want to do is start a precedent of doing things that will completely shutdown the other party. This is why the Republicans never pulled the “nuclear” option in the Senate, they were rightfully worried that if they did it, at some point the Democrats would have power and would then feel fine to do it as well. Reich points out the same principal here, just think about the Republicans pulling the same kind of shenanigans when they are in power, how is that going to make you feel? It probably doesn’t matter to you Obama supporters, all hail Dear Leader!

Watch this most awesome video about Big Pharma:


Big Pharma