The Huffington Post reports today on a deal hatched between the White House and major pharmaceutical firms to win their support of Barack Obama’s proposed government takeover of the nation’s health care system. The report comes after the New York Times and Los Angeles time reported such a deal was in the works.
These kinds of deals, which support for legislation that takes away a citizen’s freedom is bought with their own money, are one reason why Libertarians oppose government intervention in the markets short of prosecuting fraud, tort or negligence.
The Huffington Post reports, in part:
A memo obtained by the Huffington Post confirms that the White House and the pharmaceutical lobby secretly agreed to precisely the sort of wide-ranging deal that both parties have been denying over the past week.
The memo, which according to a knowledgeable health care lobbyist was prepared by a person directly involved in the negotiations, lists exactly what the White House gave up, and what it got in return.
It says the White House agreed to oppose any congressional efforts to use the government’s leverage to bargain for lower drug prices or import drugs from Canada — and also agreed not to pursue Medicare rebates or shift some drugs from Medicare Part B to Medicare Part D, which would cost Big Pharma billions in reduced reimbursements.
In exchange, the Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers Association (PhRMA) agreed to cut $80 billion in projected costs to taxpayers and senior citizens over ten years. Or, as the memo says: "Commitment of up to $80 billion, but not more than $80 billion."…