Saturday, September 26, 2009

Saving Big Pharma

I’m not gloating because this is not something to gloat about. However, even as far back as July, 2008 I knew Obama was a dud. He was just another charming corporate Democrat who had no intention of messing with the status quo.

Well, guess what: his do-nothingism scored another victory, Thursday, when the Senate Finance Committee voted down an amendment to the health “reform” bill that would have required Big Pharma to give deeper discounts on drugs sold to older Americans.

If you remember, Obama cut a closed-door deal with Big Pharma in June in which the drug companies agreed to $80 billion in reduced costs over the next ten years, a cut that wouldn’t even put a dent in their bloated profits. In exchange, the drug dealers agreed to support the health care reform bill.

Senator Bill Nelson, Democrat of Florida, introduced an amendment that would have upped that discount to $100 billion.

Well, holy shit! You would have thought his amendment wanted to sell the United States to al Qaeda.

The reason for voting the amendment down is telling. According to Senator Thomas Carper, Democrat of Delaware, asking the drug companies to contribute more to the public welfare would “undermine our ability to pass comprehensive health care reform in this Congress.” It seems Big Pharma would pull their support if the government did a sensible thing like using its purchasing power to affect deep discounts, something any corporation worth its salt (think Wal-Mart) wouldn’t hesitate to do.

Let’s see if I have this straight: seventy-percent of the public wants health care reform, yet Congress is more worried about Big Pharma’s tender feelings than the wishes and desires of the public it purportedly represents.

My, this has a familiar ring to it.

Big Pharma was right there waving the bloody flag of potential unemployment if it was forced to sell its over-priced drugs at a fair price. A spokesman said, “If our contribution to health care reform exceeds $80 billion, you reach a point where you risk sacrificing someone’s job for some else’s health insurance.”

It is always amazing how our corporate oligarchy is quick to whine about lost jobs whenever any sort of reform is suggested, but will not hesitate to lay off tens of thousands of workers if it will ads a point or to two the profit margin.

I’m sorry to say that my senators, Robert Menendez of New Jersey, was one of three Democrats to vote against the amendment that would have saved our seniors, whose retirement accounts have been savaged by our corporate masters, a few bucks. Well, when he comes up for reelection, I’m voting for Rush. At least I’d know what I was getting.

No comments: