More 2009 e-mails show extent of drug industry’s involvement in health care push

posted at 6:41 pm on June 8, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

A fat stack of recently released e-mails between the White House and pharmaceutical interests are showing just how well the two parties worked together in 2009 in the epic quest to make President Obama’s health care overhaul more palatable. In that special D.C. “I’ll scratch your back, you scratch mine” kind of relationship, the White House got the drug industry to pay for millions of dollars in pro-ObamaCare ads. It would almost be depressing, if it weren’t so tremendously unsurprising. From the WSJ:

The emails also show that the money for the ad campaign from drug-industry companies, health-care lobbies and unions went through nonprofit groups that didn’t have to disclose their donors. One such organization, Healthy Economy Now, was created in the spring of 2009 in conjunction with White House officials and the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee according to the emails. …

The emails, released by Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee,  reveal financial details about the arrangements with PhRMA and others to promote the planned legislation,  and the development of administration’s t message, tying the high costs of health care to the future of the U.S. economy. …

The emails show that drug makers hesitated to agree to pony up a lot of money for the ads without proof that their desires and concerns were reflected in the deal with the administration. One email from a  Democratic consultant to PhRMA  sent to other  PhRMA folks on June 3, 2009, said that the start of the ads, and the “spend” on airtime “depends on how things develop.”

The NYT has a more in-depth piece with the specific details, complete with defensive Democrats pointing out that Republicans have no right to complain, since Republicans are ostensibly the ones who normally benefit from the involvement of well-monied interests in politics (and no, the door definitely swings both ways on that one — unions much?), and that President Obama was just doing his due diligence in bringing all interested parties to the table.

What these Democrats seem to fail to understand, however, is that nobody is accusing the President of doing something that nobody else has done before him. The problem is that President Obama promised to run the most transparent administration, ever; to put an end to “business as usual” lobbying involvement; and to disable such pervasive crony capitalism and rent-seeking. And yet here we are, with everything going “business as usual,” and even ramped up a notch. The hypocrisy is enough to make your head spin.

 


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Special Interests.

rob verdi on June 8, 2012 at 6:44 PM

Shortage of drugs all over…

High taxes on medical device companies…

FDA needs eons for new drug approval…

Industry will be punished by Obama if they don’t ‘dance’

Still, shame on the drug indutry, all the doctors and nurses who were for the travesty which the ‘Affordable’ ‘Care’ Act is.

Schadenfreude on June 8, 2012 at 6:44 PM

Lobbyists.

rob verdi on June 8, 2012 at 6:44 PM

Pay for play.

rob verdi on June 8, 2012 at 6:44 PM

Obama, the left, and the msm.

rob verdi on June 8, 2012 at 6:45 PM

Most Corrupt Administration Ever!

PolAgnostic on June 8, 2012 at 6:46 PM

“This will be a different Administration with no backroom deals, a completely open administration.”

-Pharaoh Obamaseys II

portlandon on June 8, 2012 at 6:47 PM

OF course. They can charge whatever they want for FREE DRUGS! The gub-mint will pay for it!

SouthernGent on June 8, 2012 at 6:52 PM

Illegitimi delendi sunt.

J.E. Dyer on June 8, 2012 at 6:53 PM

And the perpetual vending machine of promises spits out another broken one…I am pretty certain it is in need of maintenance by now due to excessive abuse by its owner….

hillsoftx on June 8, 2012 at 6:54 PM

As Mr. Kasem would say:

And the hits just keep on coming.

cozmo on June 8, 2012 at 6:55 PM

Hold on a tick….didn’t Obama say that we “needed” ObamaCare because the “evil pharmaceuticial companies” were taking financial advantage of us?

Shiny_Tiara on June 8, 2012 at 6:59 PM

nobody is accusing the President of doing something that nobody else has done before him.

Death panels-mandates attacking religious conscience-annexing 1/6th of the economy – 200 plus pages of open-ended trick potential-the IRS enforcing health care, and it’s been done before????

Don L on June 8, 2012 at 7:01 PM

Sorry, that’s 2000 pages -200 just make up the lists of new government agencies….

Don L on June 8, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Barack Obama speaking at Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology
Lancaster, PA
March 31, 2008

“Within the first couple of months of me being elected, we’re going to call together a big meeting. We’re going to have a big round table and I’m going to invite everybody in. Insurance and drug companies will have a seat at the table, but I’ll have the biggest chair… I want to listen to them. But here’s the difference. I’m going to do it all on C-SPAN so that the American people will know what’s going on, and so if you have some member of Congress who’s carrying water for the drug companies, saying “Well, we can’t negotiate for the cheapest available price on drugs, because all these drug companies need all of these profits in order to invest in research and development,” well I’ll be able to call in my health care expert in front of national television and ask them “Is that true?” What he’ll say is “Well, the drug companies do need some profits to reinvest in research and development, but also research and development is done by taxpayer money… and a lot of what the drug companies call research and development is actually marketing costs for these TV ads where people are running through fields looking all happy…”

I guess Jug Ears decided he could carry some water after all…

Hill60 on June 8, 2012 at 7:08 PM

…Let them eat cake!

KOOLAID2 on June 8, 2012 at 7:09 PM

As Mr. Kasem would say:

And the hits just keep on coming.

cozmo on June 8, 2012 at 6:55 PM

O’bama’s ineptitude reminds me of Mrs. Kasem. Remember her as Loretta Tortelli on “Cheers”?

Del Dolemonte on June 8, 2012 at 7:11 PM

Remember her as Loretta Tortelli on “Cheers”?

Del Dolemonte on June 8, 2012 at 7:11 PM

Nope, never watched the show.

cozmo on June 8, 2012 at 7:13 PM

The hypocrisy is enough to make your head spin.

They don’t even notice it.

GarandFan on June 8, 2012 at 7:20 PM

coming home to roost!

kirkill on June 8, 2012 at 7:29 PM

Just more socialism House of Cards.

kirkill on June 8, 2012 at 7:31 PM

…Let them eat cake!

KOOLAID2 on June 8, 2012 at 7:09 PM

Just don’t be expect to be able to wash it down with 20 oz of bubbly goodness.

ProfShadow on June 8, 2012 at 7:35 PM

..Ms Johnsen, you do good work. Thank you!

A dewy-eyed ingenue you are not! Now, if you will not go all Eeyore on us like AP does, our afternoons here on HG will be utter bliss!

The War Planner on June 8, 2012 at 7:36 PM

Casey Kasem, the voice of Shaggy from Scooby Do. I will take totally useless information for $200 Alex

AndrewsDad on June 8, 2012 at 7:53 PM

The chillingly most scariest, horrifying horror of this thug, punk, sickly vampiric, plutocrat ,communist and dictator loving regime IS OCare. And it’s coming soon!

You think they are going to stop with healthcare. Those NYC soda bans are going national. There will be a Food Producer Exchange that you can join if you meet a low sugar , low salt and low fat criteria. There will be an exceptions for waffles and a subsidy for arugula. BTW, You can not sell foods if you are not in the exchange.

Watch! It’s also coming in 4 years.

BoxHead1 on June 8, 2012 at 7:55 PM

Pay for play.

rob verdi on June 8, 2012 at 6:44 PM

Or survival. Both are symptoms are a too-large government.

Steve Eggleston on June 8, 2012 at 7:58 PM

So far as the lies this is required in Obamas religion. You have to lie to people to convince them to let you rule them.

I am waiting for Romney to run on investigating every Department in Government and firing all the Obama political plants in these organizations. They should not be politicized but are.

But I bet he will do just what GW Bush did. Cover up for Obama.

Steveangell on June 8, 2012 at 8:03 PM

BoxHead1 on June 8, 2012 at 7:55 PM

So right.

Romney solution. Hire the biggest Republican proponent of Obama Care he could find.

Steveangell on June 8, 2012 at 8:05 PM

Considering drugs have been the main driver behind health care costs skyrocketing, of course they’d be willing to help get everyone on an insurance plan to buy their drugs.

ButterflyDragon on June 8, 2012 at 8:07 PM

But I bet he will do just what GW Bush did. Cover up for Obama.

Steveangell on June 8, 2012 at 8:03 PM

I don’t have such high expectations. I want Romney , if he wins, to remind people everyday ,from the #1bully pulpit in the world, that Obama’s GovHealth will be fully repealed in his first year. If he does that then he can have sex with interns ,hand a few billion to friends, even build some high speed rail… whatever. As long as he keeps his pledge on ocare.

BoxHead1 on June 8, 2012 at 8:11 PM

Steveangell on June 8, 2012 at 8:03 PM

Steveangell on June 8, 2012 at 8:05 PM

and all the other times

Ya’ know, I don’t give a Barney frank fat flamin’ rat’s rear end.

Its about getting rid of 0bama. Are you on board with that?

cozmo on June 8, 2012 at 8:15 PM

Ya’ know, I don’t give a Barney frank fat flamin’ rat’s rear end.

Its about getting rid of 0bama. Are you on board with that?

cozmo on June 8, 2012 at 8:15 PM

YES and no.

I detest Obama with a passion.

But I have never voted for a Democrat in my life and will not start doing so now.

Romney repudiated the Republican Party in 2002. He governed the entire four years as the “Libral Moderate Progressive” (NOT Republican) he ran as.

Actions speak far louder than words. Even after he decided he might abuse the Republican Ticket and run for President on it he continued to push the Democratic Agenda. He fought tooth and nail in 2010 to get Obama Care into law writing Opt Eds and appearing on TV. He nearly got Snow to vote for it.

Mitt is a Democrat. He even now will not attack Obama personally. He will not say Obama is a horrible President and he still repudiates Republicans when they go against Obama but never repudiates Democrats for anything political.

Steveangell on June 8, 2012 at 8:34 PM

Mitt is a Democrat.
Steveangell on June 8, 2012 at 8:34 PM

The rest of your rant is just mindless drivel.

I could care less what Romney is. He ain’t 0bama and any idiot can see that Romney is less bad than 0bama.

Heck, I’d vote for Clinton (Bill for sure, Hilary…maybe) in a heartbeat if it would get rid of 0bama.

cozmo on June 8, 2012 at 8:41 PM

The rest of your rant is just mindless drivel.

cozmo on June 8, 2012 at 8:41 PM

Yea wouldn’t want the facts to get in the way.

Welcome to America Cuba.

Steveangell on June 8, 2012 at 8:50 PM

Heck, I’d vote for Clinton (Bill for sure, Hilary…maybe) in a heartbeat if it would get rid of 0bama.

cozmo on June 8, 2012 at 8:41 PM

Yes I would vote for Bill over Mitt.

Hillary. Can not see myself voting for her. She is better than Obama but she is still a Communist and has been since college.

Bill will do what is necessary to get things passed. Hillary I just doubt she would.

Steveangell on June 8, 2012 at 8:52 PM

Yea wouldn’t want the facts to get in the way.

Steveangell on June 8, 2012 at 8:50 PM

You mean like this gem:

But Mitt will keep Obama Care or replace it with Romney Care which is the same just at the State level.

Steveangell on June 8, 2012 at 8:45 PM

Hey Einstein, how does the president force states to make laws?

Withhold highway funds again?

Tighten the federal purse strings?

What will he do with the money when states turn him down?

Guess what, most states would be fine with that.

cozmo on June 8, 2012 at 8:58 PM

Hey Einstein, how does the president force states to make laws?

Withhold highway funds again?

Tighten the federal purse strings?

What will he do with the money when states turn him down?

Guess what, most states would be fine with that.

Yes those and deny they Medicare/Medicaid money while forcing them to pay for it. He could deny they all federal money even.

Romney is a Mormon some believe making America a Communist Country will hasten the return of Christ. Romney was a huge fan of North Vietnam when his father met with them Romney interpreted for him as he spoke french. He was also his fathers spokesman and was with his father huge supporters of Saul Alinsky.

I think Romney would prefer Obama Care but the SCTOUS will most likely strike the individual mandate but States could do that no problem. So he will at least get the States to collect the penalty. But he will do something at least similar to Obama Care.

Steveangell on June 8, 2012 at 9:53 PM

Romney is a Mormon some believe making America a Communist Country will hasten the return of Christ. Romney was a huge fan of North Vietnam when his father met with them Romney interpreted for him as he spoke french. He was also his fathers spokesman and was with his father huge supporters of Saul Alinsky.

Steveangell on June 8, 2012 at 9:53 PM

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cozmo on June 8, 2012 at 10:00 PM

So there’s nothing illegal about the government telling private corporations that the outcome of a new law depends on how much cash they pony up in support of the not-yet-written law? Sounds like extortion to me.

Nice company you got there, shame if something should happen to it…

Jay Mac on June 9, 2012 at 6:00 AM

@Hill60 on June 8, 2012 at 7:08 PM

The “truth” in that quote, if I may, is that Obama had already made up his mind how the conversation will go and what the “answers” were to his hypothetical questions.

As far as he is concerned, he just had the transparent conversation so there was no need to involve CSPAN or waste his time. He just told you the outcome…

So what are you complaining about? /sarc

drocity on June 9, 2012 at 7:08 AM

President Obama was just doing his due diligence in bringing all interested parties to the table.

But he locked the door on the GOP and wouldn’t even allow them into the room, never mind the table!

shanimal on June 9, 2012 at 9:37 AM

My head was never spinning from the Won’s proclamations or speechifying because I never bought into the words coming out of his mouth. What kind of ‘scratch’ did Big Pharma get for selling the country out? That’s what inquiring minds need to know.

Kissmygrits on June 9, 2012 at 9:52 AM

You mean to tell me that MONEY was at the root of passing the Obamacare and it was NOT Social Justice and concern for the poor?

Herb on June 9, 2012 at 10:44 AM

Obama KILLED senior citizens, with his PhRMA “under-the-table-deal!”

First, while campaigning in 2008, Obama “promised” seniors they would be able to get their medications CHEAPER, by buying from Canada, IF HE WAS ELECTED PRESIDENT.

Turns out, it was just “another lie,” to get elected President! He sure LIES A LOT, doesn’t he?

This man CANNOT BE TRUSTED WITH ANYTHING, ANYWHERE,ANY TIME!!!!!

DixT on June 9, 2012 at 3:08 PM