Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Under the Influence: How Lobbyists
Wrote and Bought the Rx Drug Bill

From CBS's 60 Minutes via Crooks and Liars:

If you have ever wondered why the cost of prescription drugs in the United States are the highest in the world or why it's illegal to import cheaper drugs from Canada or Mexico, you need look no further than the pharmaceutical lobby and its influence in Washington, D.C.

In January, one of the first things the new Democratic House of Representatives did was to make it mandatory for Medicare to negotiate lower prices with the drug companies.

A similar measure faces stiff opposition in the Senate, where the drug lobby is spending millions of dollars to defeat it. The president has already announced that if the bill passes, he will veto it.

Click here for video.

Every seven or eight years, 60 Minutes does the amazing and risks its existence as a television show by taking on the corporate giants who make broadcast television possible by supporting it with advertising--this time the venerable news magazine show is going after one of news' biggest sponsors, the drug industry. And, man, they kick ass here, really pulling out all the stops. The report shows it all, the lobbying, the hardball politics on the Hill, the ramifications for average ordinary people, in short, a primer for how corporations have replaced citizens as rulers of the country, and all in less than ten minutes. Rarely do I praise the corporate media so strongly, but this piece is an instant classic, and shows that old-school news is not entirely beyond redemption.

Ah, it's probably just a fluke. I'm sure they'll be back to fluff pieces next week.