Sat Jan 26, 2013, 07:23 AM
xchrom (108,903 posts)
Big Pharma Buys Off The Senate
The inauguration of a president is one of those spectacles of democracy that can make us remember we’re part of something big and enduring. So for a few hours this past Monday, the pomp and circumstance inspired us to think that government of, by, and for the people really is just that, despite the predatory threats that stalk it.
But the mood didn’t last. Every now and then, as the cameras panned upward, the Capitol dome towering over the ceremony was a reminder of something the good feeling of the moment couldn’t erase. It’s the journalist’s curse to have a good time spoiled by the reality beyond the pageantry. Just a couple of days before the inaugural festivities, The New York Times published some superb investigative reporting by the team of Eric Lipton and Kevin Sack, and their revelations were hard to forget, even at a time of celebration.
The story told us of a pharmaceutical giant called Amgen and three senators so close to it they might be entries on its balance sheet: Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Democratic Senator Max Baucus, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, and that powerful committee’s ranking Republican, Orrin Hatch. A trio of perpetrators who treat the United States treasury as if it were a cash-and-carry annex of corporate America.
The Times story described how Amgen got a huge hidden gift from unnamed members of Congress and their staffers. They slipped an eleventh-hour loophole into the New Year’s Eve deal that kept the government from going over the fiscal cliff. When the sun rose in the morning, there it was, a richly embroidered loophole for Amgen that will cost taxpayers a cool half a billion dollars.
2 replies, 693 views
Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Big Pharma Buys Off The Senate (Original post)
Response to xchrom (Original post)
Sat Jan 26, 2013, 07:48 AM
cali (114,904 posts)
1. Disgusting. Amgen though, sure as shit hasn't bought off this guy:
Peter Welch Bill Would Take Back Pharmaceutical Giveaway
The provision will cost Medicare $500 million over two years. Welch introduced a bill on Wednesday that would restore the restraints. Reps. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.), Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) and Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) co-sponsored Welch's bill.
"Without scrutiny or debate, the American taxpayer was stuck with the $500 million tab. This special interest provision should have stood on its own merits with an up or down vote," Welch said. "It's no wonder cockroaches and root canals are more popular than Congress."
Peter is a stand up guy. So glad we replaced Bernie with someone worthy.