Health Care Reform Frauds and Fantasies
by ludwigvan, Sun Dec 20, 2009 at 11:47:19 AM EST
At Least 278 Former Congressional Aides Lobbied On Health Care...
Over $600 Million Spent...
Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.). "No public option, no extending Medicare to 55, no nothing, an excise tax, God!" he exclaimed about the Senate health care bill to Roll Call. "The insurance lobby is taking over.
Rep. Dave Obey (D-Wis.), told Politico of Senate delays, "It's ridiculous, and the Obama administration is sitting on the sidelines. That's nonsense."
Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) argued that it was really Obama who intentionally let centrists take control. "Snowe? Stupak? Lieberman? Who left these people in charge?""It's time for the president to get his hands dirty. Some of us have compromised our compromised compromise. We need the president to stand up for the values our party shares.
Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.) "This bill appears to be legislation that the president wanted in the first place, so I don't think focusing it on Lieberman really hits the truth," said Feingold. "I think they could have been higher. I certainly think a stronger bill would have been better in every respect."
Democratic Transportation Committee Chairman James Oberstar -"The White House has been useless."
Health Industry Stocks Hit 52-YEAR High On Friday.
According to Dylan Rattigan, health insurance company stock prices rose an average of $10 pershare. Yet President Obama and his people expect us to believe this bill is for the benefit of the American people.
David Axelrod keeps saying 'we took on the insurance companies, this is real reform, they're against it.'
Right...but we'd expect you to say that wouldn't we?
The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to the point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That in its essence is fascism - ownership of government by an individual, by a group." -- FDR
Arianna: Lobbyists Should Be Time's Persons Of The Year
Time should, without a doubt, have picked Washington lobbyists -- because no person or group was more influential in 2009. After an inspiring presidential campaign that promised to take on the special interests, the lobbyists flexed their muscles (and their wallets) and showed who really runs the show in DC. Lobbyists carried the day on health insurance reform, banking reform, financial reform, drug pricing, cramdown legislation, and credit card interest rates, to name just a few. And every time they won, the American people lost. It's Time for a reshoot. The Lobbyists: The Real Persons of the Year.
You wanna blame Leiberman.
You wanna blame Nelson.
But this foul deal was always Obamas ideal.
Ben Smith's column in Politico on December 07, 2009. A second day that should live in infamy...
Insurance industry insider: 'We win'
With the Senate shifting sharply away from a "pure public option," an insurance industry insider who has been deeply involved in the health care fight emails to declare victory.
"We WIN," the insider writes. "Administered by private insurance companies. No government funding.
Glen Greenwald has shown you that it was Obama who maneuvered to get rid of the PO.
Senator Feingold even said this publicly.
From Salon: contrary to Obama's occasional public statements in support of a public option, the White House clearly intended from the start that the final health care reform bill would contain no such provision and was actively and privately participating in efforts to shape a final bill without it. From the start, assuaging the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries was a central preoccupation of the White House -- hence the deal negotiated in strict secrecy with Pharma to ban bulk price negotiations and drug reimportation, a blatant violation of both Obama's campaign positions on those issues and his promise to conduct all negotiations out in the open (on C-SPAN). Indeed, Democrats led the way yesterday in killing drug re-importation, which they endlessly claimed to support back when they couldn't pass it.
Obama lobbied hard to kill Senator Dorgans bill - something that would have saved consumers an estimated $100,000,000,000 - as a payback to big pharm he muscled Senators to vote no.
Lets not forget Obama's give away to Big Pharm is part of a secret trade off with the Drug lobby for them to spend $150 million on pro Obama advertising.
By killing Sen. Dorgan's bill - the White House started to work and earn those big bucks.
The White House deal with PhRMA for their backing of the overall plan, and defeating the amendments was something Obama was far more strenuously behind than, say, the Medicare buy-in or the public option, which he was nonchalant about tossing overboard.
This was a major aspect of reform and could have provided real competition and potentially saved struggling Americans many billions. Its absolutely inexplicable why any honest politician could conceivably vote against this.
Wonder how and why this additional sell out of the American consumer took place?
Pharmaceuticals: Top Recipients
Top 3 Presidential Candidates
Rank Candidate Amount
1 Obama, Barack (D) $2,135,376
2 Clinton, Hillary (D) $689,099
3 McCain, John (R) $671,722
More from Greenwald:
As was painfully predictable all along, the final bill will not have any form of public option, nor will it include the wildly popular expansion of Medicare coverage. Obama supporters are eager to depict the White House as nothing more than a helpless victim in all of this -- the President so deeply wanted a more progressive bill but was sadly thwarted in his noble efforts by those inhumane, corrupt Congressional "centrists." Right. The evidence was overwhelming from the start that the White House was not only indifferent, but opposed, to the provisions most important to progressives. The administration is getting the bill which they, more or less, wanted from the start -- the one that is a huge boon to the health insurance and pharmaceutical industry. And kudos to Russ Feingold for saying so:
------In a payback to big Pharm, this week Obama worked to kill Senator Dorgans bill to import lower cost drugs into the US - something that would have saved consumers an estimated $100,000,000,000 - but he muscled Senators to vote no - and this was barely mentioned on the blogs or in the MSM.
Please recall that Obamag got $2,5 million for his campaign just from Big Pharm. That was more than 6 times as much as they gave to McCain or Hillary.
Today on 'Meet the Press', Howard Dean, said that he was "disappointed" by the lack of fight from the White House -- specifically, the administration's abandonment of a public option.http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7924139/
"Well, obviously, we've been very disappointed by by that," he said. "We -- we don't think that there has been much fight in the White House for that. Another big piece that needs to be fixed is we -- I don't think we ought to be able to charge-- older people three times as much as you charge younger people. The House has twice as much, that's still too much. So, there's a lot of things that need to be fixed. But if they are fixed, you a -- may actually get the foundation of a bill coming out of the House. If most of the House provisions survive, then we could have a bill that we could work with. But this elimination of the public option is a real sticking point, because that, in fact, is how you really save money and bend the curve in -- expenses."
"...This is a serious business. We have seen, essentially, a destructive political process in Washington, where the insurance company lobby essentially wrote a good piece of this bill.
This can't be the final version of this bill. It simply sets us on a track in this country which is expensive and where we're going to have lots more political fights -- where a few senators who are beholden to the insurance industry can hold up the kind of real progress that we could have made, had we passed what the president suggested when he was running for president."
And recall those hated lobbyists that in the primaries, obama said would never be allowed anywhere near his administration? Well,it seems that they have written much of this health care 'reform' bill themselves.
How health lobbyists influenced reform bill
By Andrew ZajacAt least 278 former Congressional aides and 13 former lawmakers are registered to represent at least 338 health care clients .
Their health care clients spent $635 million on lobbying over the past two years, the study shows.
In the health care showdown, insider lobbying influence has magnified the clout of corporate interests and helped steer the debate away from a public insurance option, despite many polls indicating majority support from Americans....
But Bob Edgar, president of Common Cause, a nonpartisan, nonprofit watchdog group, had a harsher assessment, blaming "a toxic cocktail of insiders and money" for short-circuiting a government-run plan that would have competed with private insurers.
"We'll get a bill. And the president will sign it. But it'll be less than the country deserves," said Edgar, a former six-term member of the House.
But lobbyist and former Kennedy staffer Andrew Rosenberg said political conditions, not big money or the predispositions of lobbyists sidelined a public option.
But we'd expect him to say that wouldn't we?
Isnt that what he's paid for?
From Ogilvy website:
Who We AreColor me unshocked.
Andrew M. Rosenberg
Senior Vice President, Ogilvy Government Relations
Andy Rosenberg brings over 15 years of experience as a lobbyist, Capitol Hill staffer and former congressional candidate to Ogilvy Government Relations, which he joined in early 2006. Mr. Rosenberg has counseled a wide range of corporations, trade associations and non-profits on strategic matters involving public policy and election law.
In March 2002, Influence Magazine named Mr. Rosenberg to its list of Washington's top "up and coming" lobbyists.
Mr. Rosenberg was a co-founder and Senior Advisor to Draft Obama, the leading national pro-Obama grassroots organization prior to the Senator's announcement of candidacy.