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The drug industry’s trade group plans to roll out a series of television advertisements in coming weeks specifically to support Senator Max Baucus’s health care overhaul proposal, according to an industry official involved in the planning.
via Drug Makers to Back Baucus Plan With Ad Dollars – Prescriptions Blog – NYTimes.com.
We’re apparently finally seeing delivery of the Big Bribe that President Obama and Rahm Emanuel extracted from that pharmaceutical industry in exchange for dropping drug-pricing reform in the health care bill.
To recap: PhRMA, the lobbying arm of the pharmaceutical industry, earlier this year announced that it would be setting aside $150 million to pay for an ad campaign supporting the President’s health care bill. The deal was apparently struck in July, after former Louisiana congressman and current PhRMA chief Billy Tauzin (Rod Blagojevich’s underdog opponent in the upcoming semifinal match of the Corrupt Scumbag of the Century So Far tournament) met with Rahm and other Obama aides in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. Also in attendance were representatives of the usual panoply of awful medical corporations, including Abbott laboratories, Merck, and Pfizer. It was in this meeting that the White House agreed to sell out health care reform in exchange for a few bucks to fund the next couple of election cycles.
So here’s what started happening to kill Waxman’s language. First of all, PhRMA started paying its bribe.
The $150 million it committed to support Obama’s bill is now being rolled out in pro-reform ads, which are being aired mostly in the districts of freshman congressmen. The ads are cheesy, half-hearted tripe blandly supporting the weak-as-# remnants of Obama’s health care plan, an example being this “Eight Ways Health Reform Matters To You” ad that salutes the end of coverage denials for those with pre-existing conditions.
“Your efforts to remove this onerous burden on Medicare beneficiaries… are to be greatly commended. However the commitment by President Obama and the AARP to support legislation that would provide a 50 percent reduction is a dramatic step forward in helping fill the doughnut hole. Equally important, it moves us toward our goal of health care legislation.”
In other words, your attempt to put in a real reform is cool and all, but PhRMA has us by the balls, so help us out.