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That’s six lobbyists for each of the 535 members of the House and Senate, according to Senate records, and three times the number of people registered to lobby on defense.
“The sheer quantity of money that’s sloshed around Washington is drowning out the voices of citizens and the groups that speak up for them.”
The lobbying push also risks delaying legislation, said Rogan Kersh, associate dean at New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service.
“That amount of activity is inevitably going to slow down the process,” Kersh said.
The White House has yet to entice any members of the Axis of Evil to the negotiating table, unless Billy Tauzin counts. The former Louisiana congressman doesn't head a rogue state, but PhRMA, the drug-industry trade group whose name is itself a swear word for liberal Democrats.
Tauzin cut a deal with the White House that is keeping PhRMA out of its customary place in the pantheon of Democratic hate groups -- for now. President Barack Obama goes out of his way to praise the drug industry. Tauzin has visited the White House half a dozen times and has committed to a $150 million advertising campaign on behalf of ObamaCare. He's become the "good German" of the health-care debate -- that is, the good $2 million-a-year drug-industry lobbyist.
Originally posted by fraterormus
The Insurance and Pharmaceutical Corporations are running scared because they won't be able to charge you $4000 a month for 30 tiny pills any more. If they are willing to create the biggest lobby this country has ever seen, larger than Military Industrial Complex and Dutch, British, and Saudi Petroleum, Gas, and Oil Conglomerates, then you should realize that the opposition to Health Care Reform doesn't have your best interests at heart. The only thing that they want is more money, and if they are willing to spend over a half-billion dollars this year to protect their interests (read "Profit Margin") rather than your interests, then how can anyone in their right mind side with them?
Originally posted by nixie_nox
reply to post by Ferris.Bueller.II
Both congress and Obama are working on this bill. the article said that the lobbyists are for Congress. YOur article talks about Obama.
Who is REALLY against Health Care Reform?
Originally posted by grover
reply to post by pavil
AND I would bet that they are spending an equal amount spreading propaganda and misinformation against it as well.
That is how they play the game...
but just because you are about to be screwed doesn't mean you have to support the screwer.
The wife of Senator Chris Dodd, who is in charge of writing the Senate’s bill, sits on the boards of four healthcare companies.
Almost 30 key lawmakers helping draft landmark health-care legislation have financial holdings in the industry, totaling nearly $11 million worth of personal investments in a sector that could be dramatically reshaped by this summer’s debate.
Here, compiled by the AP, are individual company details about the lobbying activities in Q1 2009:
* PhRMA - $7 million PhRMA is again trying to ensure drug companies won’t face steep cuts in prescription prices and, instead of reducing drug margins, have proposed cost reductions to hospitals and insurers.
* Pfizer - $6.1 million Pfizer … more than doubled its lobbying spending from the year-ago period. The company also spent nearly $3.3 million lobbying in the fourth quarter of 2008. New York-based Pfizer lobbied on legislation on health reform initiatives, electronic prescriptions, veterans issues, allowing generic versions of expensive biologic drugs and a proposal requiring research comparing the effectiveness of different medical treatments. It also lobbied on U.S. patent reform and on international patent, trade and regulatory issues involving more than 20 countries; national health insurance; legislation to require drug makers to disclose payments to physicians; reauthorization of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program; and environmental issues related to pharmaceutical manufacturing.
* Eli Lilly - $3.4 million Domestically, the drugmaker lobbied on Medicaid rebates and advertising transparency.
* Amgen - $2.8 million Amgen Inc., the world’s largest biotechnology company, spent nearly $2.8 million lobbying in the first quarter as Congress debates a potential system for bringing less expensive copies of pricey biotech drugs to the market.
* Merck - $1.5 million Merck lobbied Congress and the White House on health care reform issues including increasing coverage for uninsured people, requiring research comparing the effectiveness of different medical treatments and keeping a private-sector health care system. … and increasing funding for the national immunization program for low-income children. Merck lobbied against imposing government price controls on prescription drugs bought under the Medicare program and against expanding rebates paid to the government for medications bought under the Medicaid program. But it lobbied for ensuring access to vaccines under Medicare; it sells the Zostavax vaccine against shingles, a painful, blistering rash that generally strikes senior citizens.
* Johnson & Johnson - $1.5 million It lobbied on multiple bills involving the Medicare prescription drug program that would either limit discounts given to the government or lower the prices it pays. J&J which offers employee wellness programs, lobbied in support of a tax credit to employers who do so, and on a bill that would require drug and medical device makers to report many payments to physicians.
* Wyeth - $876,000 Madison, N.J.-based Wyeth ( WYE - news - people ) lobbied on several aspects of health care reform, including bills that could limit the prices the government pays for medications, as well as public disclosure of drugmaker payments to doctors. It lobbied on drug advertising rules and legislation to modernize the Food and Drug Administration. The maker of Centrum vitamins also lobbied on dietary supplement issues.
* Schering-Plough - $600,000 Schering-Plough lobbied on health reform issues including access to coverage, price rebates for drugs bought under the Medicaid program and proposals to require research comparing effectiveness of different medical treatments. The maker of allergy treatments Nasonex and Claritin, and the HomeAgain Pet Recovery System also lobbied on reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, legislation affecting Food and Drug Administration operations, and against importation of cheaper prescription drugs from foreign countries, which domestic drugmakers have opposed for years.
* Amylin - $350,000 San Diego-based Amylin lobbied on legislation that would allow the Food and Drug Administration to approve copies of biotech drugs, reimbursement issues, drug safety and physician payment disclosures.
* Biogen - $290,000 The Cambridge, Mass.-based company lobbied on legislation that would set up a process for the Food and Drug Administration to approve biosimilars, or copies of biotech drugs.
Originally posted by grover
but if nothing changes at all we will be in an even bigger mess and with the economic firestorm approaching of the baby boomers retiring this may be the last chance we have to fix the system for maybe decades to come.
Originally posted by fraterormus
There is a big difference between the industry spending an estimated $500 million against Health Care Reform and spending $120 million to hedge their bets in favor of Health Care Reform.
Originally posted by pavil
Please quote specifics.
Please details if you don't mind.