That’s It! Obama’s Sell-Outs and Give-Aways To Health Care Lobbyists Are the Last Straw

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Im mad as Hell and getting madder and madder.  The sell out continues.  Don’t get me wrong. I like Obama.  I’m in love with his wife and daughters.  Despite all his likability, however, his actions to endorse and support corporate elites continue and make a joke of his promises of change.

The recent disclosures of deals made between the White House and Big-Pharma/Insurance are particularly disconcerting.  It is, for me at least, the Last Straw.  

After a week of denials that there had been any quid pro quo offered for Big-Pharma’s gift of $80 billion, a memo obtained by Huffington Post reports favors detrimental to the consumer.  Why wasn’t I holding me breath?

The memo… lists exactly what the White House gave up, and what it got in return.


…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.”

Let’s slither below the fold for more lubricating slime…

Greg Palast examines the numbers:

I checked out the government’s health stats (at, put fresh batteries in my calculator and totted up US spending on prescription drugs projected by the government for the next ten years. It added up to $3.6 trillion.

In other words, Obama’s big deal with Big Pharma saves $80 billion out of a total $3.6 trillion. That’s 2%.

Hey thanks, Barack! You really stuck it to the big boys. You saved America from these drug lords robbing us blind. Two percent. Cool!

In addition to this way-too-cool deal, enter the former Congressman Billy Tauzin. Tauzin slyly engineered and wheeled the Medicare Part D (Disaster) plan through the legislature, and soon resigned to take a high paid job as Prez of a major drug lobbying company.  Palast says this:

And what did Obama give up in return for $80 billion? Chief drug lobbyist Billy Tauzin crowed that Obama agreed to dump his campaign pledge to bargain down prices for Medicare purchases. Furthermore, Obama’s promise that we could buy cheap drugs from Canada simply went pffft!

What did that cost us? The New England Journal of Medicine notes that 13 European nations successfully regulate the price of drugs, reducing the average cost of name-brand prescription medicines by 35% to 55%. Obama gave that up for his 2%.

The Veterans Administration is able to push down the price it pays for patent medicine by 40% through bargaining power. George Bush stopped Medicare from bargaining for similar discounts, an insane ban that Obama said he’d overturn. But, once within Tauzin’s hypnotic gaze, Obama agreed to lock in Bush’s crazy and costly no-bargaining ban for the next decade.   (emphasis mine)

And finally, Palast explains why he put Cheney in the title of his article; he shows how Obama’s secrecy about WH meetings with the Pharmas were kept secret, just like Cheney’s meetings with oil tycoons, although less successfully.

In the same vein, Bruce Dixon, Managing Editor of Black Agenda Report writes, “Obama Health Care: A Comprehensive Betrayal — Where Do We Go From Here?”

The shrunken and eviscerated public option in the Obama health care plan may now be discarded in favor of something called a health co-op. The mounting toll of concessions to drug companies and bailouts of private insurers contained in the Obama plan have transformed it, according to Rep. John Conyers, into “crap,” and threaten to make Obama a one-term president. Republicans, all the while, are fighting Obamacare every bit as resolutely as if it were Medicare For All…


Obama’s health care plan is so full of concessions to drug companies, so crammed with a constantly growing list of bailouts and exceptions for insurance companies that the White House is deliberately withholding information on it from Obama’ own supporters. Organizing For America … is calling supporters to canvass and turn out for health care “town meetings,” but dares not tell people exactly what they are supporting. For a while it was something called “the public option,” which would compete with and keep the insurance companies honest. Now it’s something even cloudier, called a health co-op…


No less a progressive stalwart than Detroit’s Rep. John Conyers announced his deep disappointment with Barack Obama before a crowd of progressives last month in Washington’s Busboys and Poets restaurant. Obama, he opined, could be a one-term president if he doesn’t manage to deliver on health care.

Conyers is the sponsor of HR 676, the Enhanced Medicare For All Act, which proposes the expansion of the highly successful Medicare program, along with enhancements such as dental coverage to all Americans. President Obama has admitted many times in recent months that Medicare For All, also called single payer, is the only way, and the least expensive way to cover the uninsured while at the same time bringing costs down. But with few exceptions, leading Democrats, themselves in the pay of health insurance companies and Big Pharma, have declared that Medicare For All is “politically infeasible.”


For the moment, argues Dave Lindorff, single payer advocates have more in common with some of the deluded Republican protesters at public health town meetings than they have with Democratic legislators at the front of the room. They know they’re being lied to and they know that the proceedings are sham and theatre and they are acting accordingly. Maybe we ought to be doing the same. We ought to insist on a floor vote on HR 676, and demand that our representatives support it. We also have to demand that states be free to pursue their own single payer experiments.  (Emphasis mine)

It’s time to stop listening to Democrats who say Medicare For All is “politically infeasible” despite its being the democratic will of most of the American people. On their lips, political feasibility is just another name for whether it can pass the legislature this session. Political feasibility is not even in the language of movements for social change. The activists of the 1950s and 60s Freedom Movement knew very well that their demands were not politically feasible. Should they have shut up until Congress and the Supreme Court caught up with them?

So that’s it folks.  Say NO to the compromises.  We need to get in their faces.  We must



And be excellent while we do it!!!


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  1. Thanks for reading.

  2. Opol would post a diary and then go eat.  I’m going to pick up my dinner.  I’ll be right back.

    • Edger on August 15, 2009 at 05:50

    the overdose rate will start skyrocketing any day now…

  3. not sure exactly what my tipping point was, but I know that I hit my wall several days ago, in my mind, where I just decided: screw these asswipes and all this political gamesmanship, and dealmaking, and asslicking, and … just …  all of it… politics. Lies. Stickin it to me. Yes, me. Me personally. Okay, me and the other 46M uninsured, and also the other Number (idk) Who Think Theyre “COVERED”, uhm, Insured but Theyre Screwed Anyway… Also… and just…


    Not this time.

    Throw down the gauntlet.

    We tried it Their Way and there is no difference, well, maybe this time they will slide on a little KY but theyre still fully intending to screw us, even with all our concessions and the rest of it and just… No.

    Single Payer.

    Go for broke.

    Fuck me? No, fuck them.

    Raw emotion. (sorry)

  4. that’s the big sticking point.  If that doesn’t pass, then it all needs to go.

    • Inky99 on August 15, 2009 at 09:10

    You know, the one by Mussolini?

    “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power”

    By the man himself.

    So we’ve had fascism here for a while.

    George Carlin was right:   Hitler lost WWII, but Fascism won.

  5. by the mindless programmed GOP’er-bots.  I live in a “blue” state, (MI) in a county heavily dependent on domestic auto manufacturing.  The unemployment rate here is approaching 20%.

    In one of the local papers, one feature is a column of reader comments.  Here’s a couple of examples of how prevalent “teh stupid” re: health care is, even in areas where the people are hurting, and should know better:

    “This is not the America I grew up in… Since when did protesting this uncontrolled spending and health care fiasco become un-American? … Please keep speaking up, patriots, and never let our Constitution be taken from us…”

    Now they’re concerned about the Constitution????

    There’s more idiocy still:

    “This is Amazing.  According to recent polls, 84 percent of Americans are satisfied or very satisfied with the health care they receive.  The only people not satisfied are Obama and congressional Democrats.”

    I guess that means all those “very satisfied” people won’t mind a bit when Blue Cross of MI raises their insurance rates 22%.

    Insurer originally sought 56 percent rate hike, but regulators refused…Michigan insurance regulators have approved a 22 percent increase for group and individual Blue Cross Blue Shield health policies in the state…

    The new rates, set to take effect October 1, will affect 163,000 policies.

    Blue Cross is also awaiting a September 14 hearing on its proposed 33 percent rate hike for senior citizens, according to Detroit Free Press.

    These fools are being robbed, yet the GOP brainwashing somehow still continues to convince them to not only thank, but to defend their victimizers.  

  6. for the boost.  I thought this might be too slitherin’.

  7. Obama now appears to be backing away from the “public option” plan and may go for co-ops, instead.

    Sebelius said the White House would be open to co-ops instead of a government-run public option, a sign Democrats want a compromise so they can declare a victory on the must-win showdown.

    “I think there will be a competitor to private insurers,” she said. “That’s really the essential part, is you don’t turn over the whole new marketplace to private insurance companies and trust them to do the right thing. We need some choices, we need some competition.”

    Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., said co-ops might be a politically acceptable alternative as “a step away from the government takeover of the health care system” that the GOP has assailed.

    Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., chairman of the Senate’s budget committee, pushed the co-op model as an alternative, saying it has worked in other business models. . . . .

    Do you somehow get the feeling that Obama ain’t running this show and that’s he being run by others?  Huh????

    Well, Mad as Hell Doctors couldn’t have happened at a better time!!!

  8. When I backed Pres. Obama I didnt do it because I bought into the ‘Change’meme, I didnt.  For all of his good points, and I believe he has a few, he’s a middle of the road pol.  Since day one he’s surrounded himself with the uncle Milty Chicago school economists and free marketers.  He’s wibbled and wobbled on Iraq and Afghanistan, maintained BushCo’s ‘national security excuse in the unlawful spying on citizens, caved on Gitmo, and dictated to DOJ who it can go after which to me sounds vaguely Nixonian.  

    Health care LOL why would or should anyone believe we the people matter more than the corporations and bazzilionares who control Washington.

    He got my support because of the oposition The Wakko from Wasila and McNutcase would I still believe have been wors.  

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