Monday, June 22, 2009

The history and mediocrity of Baucus' "deal" with PhRMA

A must read...

"One piece of alleged news this weekend has been a deal between Senator Baucus (D-corporate lobbyist) and Billy' Tauzin, president and chief executive of PhRMA and a former congressman from Louisiana (D to R to corporate lobbyist). It is important to remember that as a congressman, just before exiting via the rotating door to his official lobbyist gig, Tauzin was a leader in fixing Medicare Part D to be a huge protected benefit for the drug companies.
Remember: When they say that Medicare was not allowed to negotiate a lower price, this means they were not allowed to even get the same "discount" ("special, just for you") rate the U.S. government was already getting for benefits under Medicaid, DOD, Veterans and those eligible for 340B pricing.

One horrible, but deliberately planned result, is that many seniors and the disabled, who had been dually eligible for lower drug prices under Medicaid, wound up paying (either under Medicare or out-of-pocket) HIGHER prices to the drug companies under Medicare Part D, than they had before. Expensive for taxpayers, poor seniors and the disabled, but a windfall for the drug companies.

In one of the more blatant examples of the corrupt system, Tauzin was a leader in making Medicare Part D so bad for government, taxpayer and the elderly but so good for the drug industry, while he was at the same time secretly negotiating his near future job as chief lobbyist for the same industry. This was of course with the Bush white house and the corrupt D.C.-lobbyist leadership of the AARP (which is to a great extent a for-profit insurance company, and not a senior-rights organization).
We already subsidize most of the underlying research (and the training of the drug companies' researchers) via the National Institutes of Health. When the same drug is offered to at a lower cost to purchaser -- be it at DOD or France or Canada, etc -- and at a higher cost to us, then we are suckers being asked to subsidize that too.

The Baucus-Tauzin "deal" is just an attempt to cut-off the debate and fast-track a great deal for PhRMA and a really bad deal for America.

Read it all here:

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