If you thought the way the Democrats rammed through Obamacare out in the open was bad, wait until you hear what was going on behind closed doors. The worst part is the utter hypocrisy of President Obama. The Washington Examiner pointed out this ad he ran in 2008 promising to change the way things are done in Washington, DC. Specifically, it slammed Republicans for working with big PhRMA when the Medicare prescription drug program passed. He said “I don’t want to learn how to play the game better, I want to put an end to the game-playing.”
So, how did the people in the Obama White House deal with Big PhRMA during Obamacare negotiations? Why, they used threats and backroom deals, of course. We wouldn’t know any of this if not for some emails obtained by a congressional committee. “The most transparent administration ever” planned to keep this quiet.
As part of the final deal, PhRMA agreed to support health care legislation, spend millions on ads promoting it, and concede $80 billion in savings and taxes to help finance the bill. In exchange, PhRMA not only ended up with a law that promised to provide it with millions of new customers, but protected it against policies contemplated by Democrats that would have been harmful to their profits. In addition to preventing drug reimportation, the White House also blocked the government from negotiating lower drug prices in the Medicare prescription drug program — precisely what Obama had faulted Tauzin for doing from his perch in Congress.
That September, top PhRMA lobbyist Bryant Hall reported in an email that he “had a good call w [with] Messina” and wrote: “Confidential: WH is working on some very explicit language on importation to kill it in health care reform. This has to stay quiet.”
Drug reimportation never made it into the final legislation. (Read More)
White House officials didn’t play nice the whole time, either.
The documents show that former White House Chief of Staff Jim Messina and health care reform point woman Nancy-Ann DeParle told drug company representatives in June 2009 that if they didn’t cooperate on the initiative, Mr. Obama would demand a 15 percent rebate on Medicare drugs and push to remove the tax deduction for direct consumer advertising — items that could cost the industry $100 billion over the next decade.
The threats appeared to work, and the parties met the next month to hammer out a final deal. The drug companies agreed to pay higher Medicaid rebates and a new health care reform fee to raise $80 billion for the legislation, and promised to run positive television ads about it.
In exchange, the White House gave them direct input into the new policies and promised to let them continue to set their own drug prices. (Read More)
Hopefully this rotten law will be overturned by the Supreme Court, and Obama will be voted out in November.
Update: I almost forgot, Obama is already working on a Plan B should Obamacare be overturned. I wonder what secret parties are in on the negotiations.