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Friday, September 4, 2009
Obama and Pharma sold out Amercians with Pharma's $80 billon payoff to President Obama. This deal will backfire on both Pharma and the President. However some definitions are needed before we enlighten around this premise.
Medicaid: state programs of public assistance to persons regardless of age whose income and resources are insufficient to pay for health care. The United States federal government provides matching funds to the state Medicaid programs. Medicaid can negotiate the prices it pays for drugs with pharma companies, so it pays significantly less than Medicare, which is barred by law from doing so.
Medicare: Medicare is attached to Social Security and is health insurance for people age 65 or older, under age 65 with certain disabilities,and any age with permanent kidney failure (called "End-Stage Renal Disease"). You must have entered the United States lawfully and have lived in the U.S. for 5 years to be eligible for Medicare. Medicare cannot negotiate with pharma cos. for the prices it pays for drugs. Private insurers negotiate Medicare drug prices with pharma companies. So Medicare pays significantly higher prices for drugs.
Medicare Part D: Medicare Part D is a federal program to subsidize the costs of prescription drugs for medicare beneficiaries in the United States. It was enacted as part of the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA) and went into effect on January 1, 2006.
What are the costs of Medicare Part D?
• Plans can include an annual deductible of up to $295.
• The consumer typically pays 25 percent of drug costs between $295 and $2,700.
• The consumer then pays 100 percent of drug costs between $2,700 and $6,153.75, this difference is known as the "doughnut hole".
• The consumer pays 5 percent for drug expenses for catastrophic coverage (above $6,153.75).
• Although amounts may vary based on plan selected, there are two constants: the $295 maximum deductible and a $6,153.75 maximum for coverage gap expenses.
Obama Sellout: Obama promised Pharma that he wouldn't require them to be forced to negotiate directly with Medicare for lower drug prices for those eligible for Medicare, as is done with Medicaid. By doing so Pharma can continue to negotiate their Medicare prices with private insurers and maintain existing profit margins. Obama also pledged to protect Pharma from Canadian drug re-importation legislation, which, if enacted, would cause lower profits for Pharma due to Canada's lower drug prices.
Pharma Sellout: Pharma offered Obama its support for comprehensive health care reform and pledged to cut $80 billion in drug costs over the next ten years. Approximately $25 billion of the $80 billion is earmarked to make the Medicare Part D donut hole smaller. Pharma also agreed to pay for millions of dollars in television advertising in support of ObamaCare in the amount of $150 million. In fact, some of the $150 million went to Obama's campaign guru, David Axelrod.
What this means to Americans
Obama went back on his campaign pledge to Americans that he would use the power of government to drive down the costs of drugs for Medicare participants and that negotiations would be conducted in the open. Obama lied and sold out Americans (‘change we can believe in’) for $150 million for his health care reform campaign contributions from Pharma and a measly $80 billion in supposed Pharma drug price reductions.
Critics on Capitol Hill and online responded with outrage at the reports that Obama had gone behind their backs and sold the reform movement short. White House spokesman Reid Cherlin confirmed the deal. Of course, as the White House acknowledges, senators are free to push for drug-price negotiations or re-importation, but they may have to do so without administration support and, certainly, in the face of Big Pharma opposition. Several senators, including Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), pledged to go after Pharma no matter what the White House said.
This is the reason Pharma is the underbelly of corporate America. Pharma makes the tobacco industry look like the United Way. It’s amazing how Pharma continues to cry and cry about how their reputation is abused given all the great ‘me-too medicines’ they bring to the public health sector. Well, this back room deal with Obama is precisely the reason, amongst others in their torrid past but that’s a whole separate post. The arrogant and entitled behavior of Pharma is not just criminal, but obnoxious. This so-called ‘Patient Health First’ industry sold out America for a paltry $80 billion dollars over 10 years. Yes, paltry given the global revenues for the Pharma industry is approximately $800 billion ANNUALLY. To put this in perspective Pharma is only giving up $8 billion/year for 10 years, which is only 1% of their annual global revenues per year.
Pharma’s drug price concessions of $80 billion dollars over ten years is the equivalent of someone making $50,000/yr contributing $500/yr for 10 years, not a big nut. Oh, and Pharma claims $25 billion will go toward reducing the Medicare Part D donut hole. How altruistic of them. Where was Pharma to be found in 2006, 2007 and 2008 to ‘generously’ ensure ‘PATIENT HEALTH FIRST’ for needy seniors to help close the financial burden of the donut hole in those years??
In addition, Pharma supports the ObamaCare socialistic health care reform legislation with a $150 million advertising donation to Obama’s buddy, David Axelrod, to promote this legislative travesty. Think of all the needy Americans that could use $150 million in medicines!! Millions of Americans will have their health care compromised by this legislation and Pharma is supporting it financially after making a pact with the socialists. SO MUCH FOR PHARMA’S MARKETING MESSAGE OF ‘PATIENT HEALTH FIRST’!!
Mr. ‘Audacity of Hope and Change’. To be sure Obama is chock full of audacity. The audacity to lie and sellout the American people to push through his socialistic health care plan with none other than evil Pharma for $150 million in advertising and $8 billion/yr. in Judas gold. Obama is exactly what we all thought he would be and there are no surprises. A Chicago thug socialist you cannot trust as far as you can throw. He will sell his soul to the devil to ensure America's great fabric is destroyed. He's not even much of a negotiator given the Pharma deal.
Both of these frauds will have their comeuppance. Pharma thinks it has a deal, but already Obama is backing out a bit. The House was largely cut out of these Obama-Pharma negotiations. White House officials have since reassured House Democrats that while it cannot publicly support these measures in a House-Senate conference, it will not insist on them -- if Pharma gets the short end of the stick in those deals, the White House won't veto health care legislation because of it.
In addition, Republicans, typically allies to Pharma, are furious with Pharma because of their sellout of Americans to funding and supporting a socialist health care plan. Pharma has nowhere to go now and if they think that they are now allies of the Democrats, well, talk to Sen. Arlen Specter about that. So Pharma is now stuck between the proverbial rock and hard place. Good for them!!
As for Obama’s comeuppance if it wasn’t enough for him to have the Sean Hannitys of the world nipping at his heels on a daily basis. His lying, back-room deal with Pharma and his promise of TRANSPARENCY in his administration out the window, he will now have none other than the Keith Olbermanns of the world doing a little nipping for themselves. This deal with the Pharma devil just very well may be Obama’s Waterloo.