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Deal to limit cost to $155B in exchange for promise that there would be no meaningful public option

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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 12:30 AM
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Deal to limit cost to $155B in exchange for promise that there would be no meaningful public option
Uncle Joe posted this in another thread and I thought it deserved more attention. Is this a newspaper article quote?

This is one of the great under-reported stories of the health reform saga. Much has been written about the Obama administration's deal with big Pharma to continue to block Medicare from negotiating for lower drug prices or to allow consumers to buy cheaper drugs from Canada, in exchange for Pharma running pro-Democratic ads and giving campaign contributions to Democratic candidates. That's the reason, under pressure from the White House, that Senate Democrats voted down an amendment that would have allowed consumers to buy cheaper drugs from overseas.

But Obama's deal with the for-profit hospital lobby to insure there would be no public option has, as best I can tell, only been reported in two articles in The New York Times. On August 13, The Times reported that while President Obama had presented himself as "aloof from the legislative fray," particularly in connection with the public option, "Behind the scenes, however, Mr. Obama and advisors have been...negotiating deals with a degree of cold-eyed political realism potentially at odds with the president's rhetoric." One of the deals reported in The Times article was the Pharma deal. The other was a deal with the for-profit hospital lobby to limit its cost reductions to $155 billion over 10 years in exchange for a White House promise that there would be no meaningful public option.


I should point out that the architects of this bill in the think-tank stage (when Tom Daschle, Edwards and others gathered with Yale industry insider policy wonks and Insurance execs at the Brookings Institution 5 or 10 years ago to frame the debate as an industry cost-cutting bill) said openly from the start that the public option could not serve too many people or it would defeat the primary purpose of the bill, which one of its architects, a Yalie, said on the radio recently (chastising a liberal caller) was to force as many new customers as possible into the private insurance pool in order to finance said reforms through new infusions of income into the private marketplace. This of course conflicts with the lie said until recently that the public option was the central part of the bill designed to eventually compete with the private plans, but the architects of this bill were quite up-front about this years ago for anyone who's been reading Washington Monthly, Harpers, or one of the other actual liberal publications that are printed on dead trees and finance investigatory journalism.
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 12:35 AM
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