Drugmakers Vowed To Campaign For Health Law, Memos Show
By Drew Armstrong – May 31, 2012 2:51 PM ET
Drugmakers led by Pfizer (PFE) Inc. agreed to run a “very significant public campaign” bankrolling political support for the 2010 health-care law, including TV ads, while the Obama administration promised to block provisions opposed by drugmakers, documents released by Republicans show.
The internal memos and e-mails for the first time unveil the industry’s plan to finance positive TV ads and supportive groups, along with providing $80 billion in discounts and taxes that were included in the law. The administration has previously denied the existence of a deal involving political support.
The documents were released today by Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. They identify price controls under Medicare and drug importation as the key industry concerns, and show that former Pfizer Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Kindler and his top aides were involved in drawing it up and getting support from other company executives.
“As part of our agreement, PhRMA needs to undertake a very significant public campaign in order to support policies of mutual interest to the industry and the Administration,” according to a July 14, 2009, memo from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. “We have included a significant amount for advertising to express appreciation for lawmakers’ positions on health care reform issues.”
The goal, the memo said, was to “create momentum for consensus health care reform, help it pass, and then acknowledge those senators and representatives who were instrumental in making it happen and who must remain vigilant during implementation.”
In other documents, PhRMA agreed to help back at least three different advertising and advocacy groups that pushed for health-care reform.
A PhRMA memo described a group called Health Economy Now, and noted that under an agreement “the industry provides the majority of financial support for positive TV ads advocating passage of health reform.”
It also provided financial backing for television ads thanking lawmakers for their support of an expansion of children’s health care insurance under Medicaid, the U.S. insurance program for the poor, and a campaign called “Harry and Louise,” run with Families USA, a Washington-based pro- health care reform group that advocates for consumers.
via Drugmakers Vowed to Campaign for Health Law, Memos Show – Bloomberg.
I don’t know who got played worse:
1) The legislative supporters of ObamaCare who are either no longer in office (being voted out) or are now serving in the minority caucus,
2) The President, who willingly took industry money (from some pesky 1%’ers) and allowed Corporations to hide their ties to this bill (Does anyone else see the similarity to “Crossroads GPS”)
or 3) The Pharma’s themselves — a quick look at local company AstraZeneca is all one needs to see how their fortunes have proceeded.
It would be funny if it weren’t so serious. Now we can see who is really trying to push grandma off the cliff… To quote the Vice President, “It is a big effing deal.”