Thursday, August 13, 2009

PharmaGate: Obama's Newest Scandal

You'll remember that I mentioned Obama's secret deal with the big pharmaceutical companies..the one even Lefty shill Robert Reich was outraged about.

In exchange for Big Pharma's support for Obamacare to the tune of $150 million in advertising money, Obama said he would prohibit his government run healthcare from bargaining with them to get lower volume prices on drugs for the American people, import drugs from Canada or pursue Medicare rebates or to shift some drugs from to different Medicare plans, which would save Big Pharma billions in reduced reimbursements. Knowing Obama, there was also likely an undertone of threatening the drug companies with retaliation if they didn't play ball.

Since the knowledge about this viciously corrupt deal went public, the deal's apparently off...but the scandal remains. Legally, an unsuccessful conspiracy is just as actionable as a successful one.

The Lefty Huffington Post of all people helped drop the dime on this, for which kudos to them:

A memo obtained by the Huffington Post confirms that the White House and the pharmaceutical lobby secretly agreed to precisely the sort of wide-ranging deal that both parties have been denying over the past week.

The memo, which according to a knowledgeable health care lobbyist was prepared by a person directly involved in the negotiations, lists exactly what the White House gave up, and what it got in return.

It says 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."

This is interesting on several fronts.

While the president is likely allowed to make deals with private corporations for the purposes of public policy, he's not allowed to do so secretly. And especially not for what amounts to $150 million in campaign contributions. By contrast, John McCain spent only $126 million on his entire campaign.

Second, the fact of the matter is that both the White House and the drug corporations have been blatantly lying in concert about this for weeks to the public in about the deal. That's normally known as a conspiracy to defraud.

Obama's also lying again when he claims that he was going to get even more savings from savings from drug-makers. Read the above memo. The exact amount of all savings had already been agreed to in exchange for the $150 million to Obama - $80 billion and not a cent more.

Naked Emperor has a video based on Obama's frequent statements that not only would this kind of negotiations be transparent 'they'd be on C-SPAN.' I feel like I neeed a shower even watching this.

So what does all this amount to? Unfortunately not much.A Republican president caught pulling this crap would end up with 24/7 coverage on 'the scandal hovering over the White House' and a special prosecutor insisted on by Congress. Cries on 'what did he know and when did he know it' would fill the air, and people like Nancy Pelosi, Henry Waxman and John Conyers would be drooling so heavily that they'd have to hire a special towel delivery service.

That kind of action isn't going to happen with the Democrats and Obama, and the media will likely use the upcoming weekend to let this all blow away like it never happened.

And that's too bad. This stinks to high heaven, a Chicago-style backroom deal that had no place in th eWhite House.

When Richard Nixon was accused of obstruction of justice, it was the Republicans in the Senate led by Barry Goldwater than essentially forced him to resign.

Bill Clinton, on the other hand, was actually indicted for perjury and obstruction of justice and impeached by the House. But it was the Senate Democrats who used their majority to refuse to even allow an impeachment trial and saw to it that he finished his term in office.

Some things just don't change.

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