Monday, June 11, 2012

Obama's collaboration with Big Pharma exposed

From AlterNet:

In order to secure his sweeping 2010 health care reforms, US President Barack Obama's staff oversaw an unusually close collaboration with the pharmaceutical industry, documents show.

Republicans in the House of Representatives have uncovered a trove of emails and other memos showing how the Obama administration coordinated its $150 million advertising campaign with major pharmaceutical companies.

Nearly $70 million was spent through two Super PACs -- political action committees -- organized in part by White House officials, including Jim Messina, Obama's former deputy chief of staff who is now managing his 2012 reelection campaign.


The email was among materials compiled by the House Energy and Commerce Committee as part of a probe to determine how the White House interacted with the drug industry as the health reform legislation took shape.

The panel said the emails confirmed that a decision by PhRMA to fund advertisements was "linked to policy agreements backed by the administration."

The White House, meanwhile, underscored that Obama was clear from the start that he would talk to all stakeholders, including the pharmaceutical industry, in order to pass the reform.

More here.

Obama was, indeed, "clear from the start" that the whole shebang was going to be a massive industry-friendly giveaway, which, of course, is what it all ended up being. Other than the devil in the details, which are now apparently coming to the light of day, this is no surprise. Of course, Obama coordinated with PhRMA. He also coordinated with the HMOs and health insurance companies. The Affordable Care Act is their law, not ours. That's why it sucks so bad.

What is surprising is that the Republicans would call bullshit on this. I mean, sucking corporate dick is much more their thing than it is the Democrats'. But that just goes to show you how utterly fucked up politics have become these days. Both parties suck corporate dick--both swallow, too, for that matter. So that essentially leaves the field open for meaningless anti-corporate rhetoric: Republicans can castigate the President for working too closely with wealthy corporate interests because those interests fully understand that the Republicans don't really mean it. Sort of a Nixon going to China thing.

Of course, the GOP isn't really doing the equivalent of Nixon going to China. That is, it's not that they're so pro-corporate that they can be anti-corporate if they want. Rather, it's that they're totally full of shit when they blast Obama's cozy corporatism. That is, as usual, they're big fucking liars. Democrats, too.

Maybe I just won't vote at all this November. It wouldn't matter either way.