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Mike Papantonio Headshot

Big Pharma's Free Ride

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If John Dillinger and Baby Face Nelson had written America's bank security standards, Americans would have withdrawn their money from banks. So why isn't the American public concerned about why the drug companies are in love with Obama's health care reform plan? The drug companies are spending millions on ad campaigns praising Obama's reform efforts.

Remember, those same drug companies also spent hundreds of millions to defeat Obama's presidential bid. Today, they love Obama. It's easy to understand. Obama has given them a free pass to where they don't have to help pay for reform. As a trade-off for their help in shoving a trillion dollar symbolic reform plan down America's throat, Obama has rewarded the drug companies in a big way. First they continue to be able to charge $50 for a $2 pill without any centralized price controls in place. Secondly, Obama is allowing the drug companies the right to sell $2 pills in Canada while he tells Americans that they can't cross the border and buy that $2 pill that is costing them $50 in the U.S.

Obama is also rewarding the drug companies for their cooperation by assuring them that there will be no changes to the laws that make it near impossible for less expensive generic drugs to reach the American market.

I have seen first hand how strong this new friendship is between Obama and the drug industry. When I appear on Fox TV these days discussing this new Obama love affair, I receive the angriest e-mails from viewers who obviously make their money selling pharmaceuticals. The drug company corporate types are no longer calling Obama a socialist. Today they call Obama a visionary mainly because he is their new sugar daddy.

They also like the idea that Obama's goal is not so much about reform as it is the perception of reform. The idea is to just give the public something.

There will be no serious health care reform until the drug companies, the hospital corporations and the HMO industry are forced to pay their share of the bill. The only way to accomplish that is to have Obama change his ridiculous love struck posture into a leadership posture where he demands acceptable price controls over segments of the health care industry like the drug makers.

But Obama and his single trick democrats seem so focused on taxing consumers to pay for their illusory reform that they miss the obvious.

They appear to be unwilling to overcome the influence of the 1.4 million dollars per day that the health care industry is spending on lobbyists. Most of the lobby effort these days is not directed at stopping reform. Instead, the goal is to make sure that their client does not help pay for that reform.

Can you imagine the party that took place at the Pfizer, Merck, and Glaxo headquarters when they learned that none of the industry's $90 billion a year profits would go towards paying for reform. Imagine their excitement when they proved once more that regardless of who's in charge of government, a thousand lobbyists hired by a $90 billion industry will always make catchy slogans like, "Yes We Can," sound almost meaningless.

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