Lessons from Obamacare and the Secret Deals Between the White House and Big Pharma

The Wall Street Journal has a long editorial about the secret deals between the White House and Big Pharma, its partner in passing Obamacare. More emails have been released that show how closely they worked together behind our backs, despite President Obama’s promises to do things differently. It’s worth reading in its entirety, and also provides a few lessons for politicians and businesses.

The lesson for Republicans if they do end up running the country next year is that their job is to restore the free and fair market that creates broad-based economic growth. The temptation will be to return for the sake of power to the methods of Tom DeLay and Jack Abramoff. If they do, voters will return the GOP to private life as surely as they did the Democrats in 2010.

The warning to business is also fundamental. Crony capitalism undermines public trust in capitalism itself and risks blowback that erodes the free market that private companies need to prosper and that underlies the productivity and competitiveness of the U.S. economy. The political benefits of cronyism are inherently temporary, but the damage it does is far more lasting.

As for Big Pharma, the lobby ultimately staved off Mr. Waxman’s revolt and avoided some truly harmful drug policies—for now. But over the long term their products are far more vulnerable to the command-and-control central planning that will erode medical innovation, and their $80 billion fillip is merely the teaser rate.

Whether anyone will take those lessons to heart remains to be seen.

The text of some of the emails can be found here.

Update: Heritage Action linked – thanks!