Friday, June 8, 2012

NYT Just "Shocked, Shocked" That PhRMA Supported ACA of 2010?!

It is hilarious -- and ironic -- to see Republicans complaining bitterly, only now.

Only now, that it is not the Republican party operatives cutting behind-the-scenes deals with a sitting Administration, and Congressional leaders -- to ensure the passage of legislation it favors.

We saw that in two Reagan terms, one Bush 41 term and in two Bush 43 terms. [And, as to attempts at health care reforms, at least, we saw far less of it during Clinton's two terms -- thus, no health care reform.] But we saw it under President Clinton too -- just primarily on other topics.

So it is with great pleasure that I re-offer you what I wrote in late 2009, about the deal PhRMA was then-engineering, right here. Oh -- and here. And here -- I called it a "Charm Offensive", by PhRMA. Heh. [There are probably twenty or more here, that I've written going back to early 2009/late 2008 -- but you get the idea -- just search "PhRMA", above if you are curious.]

Even the New York Times is getting a little snowed, this evening -- in not properly explaining, in enough detail -- that so much of this is simply attempted by Republicans to deflect attention from Romney's championing a very similar plan, while he was Governor of Massachusetts. Per the New York Times reporting, this evening:

. . . . The latest e-mails released on Friday underscore the detailed discussions the two sides had about an advertising campaign supporting Mr. Obama’s health overhaul.“They plan to hit up the ‘bad guys’ for most of the $,” a union official wrote after an April meeting with Mr. Messina and Senate Democratic aides. “They want us to just put in enough to be able to put our names in it — he is thinking @100K.”

In July, the White House made clear that it wanted supportive ads using the same characters the industry used to defeat Mr. Clinton’s proposal 15 years earlier. “Rahm asked for Harry and Louise ads thru third party,” Mr. Hall wrote.

Industry and Democratic officials said privately that the advertising campaign was an outgrowth of the fundamental deal, not the goal of it. The industry traditionally advertises in favor of legislation it supports. . . .

So -- for the record, when the Supreme Court announces its decision either next week or the week after, I think President Obama is going to look pretty wise. And then? The Romney flaks will be fresh out of ammo.

Even if parts of the ACA of 2010 are overruled, Mr. Obama is -- and will be -- in the best position to prepare a Plan B, and save the nation's health care system from an almost certain bankruptcy, without reform (yes, that is a more than four year old graphic!):

Do stay tuned, for an expected-Supremes' ruling -- either on this coming Monday morning, or on either of the next two Mondays. We will have it all for you -- insta-analysis, style -- up or down.


Anonymous said...

I understand that your analysis on healthcare reform is majority from a Pharma perspective but there are many other low level details of the law that are, well, just bonkers. Take the Medical Loss Ratio- the provision that limits the amount of profit private healthcare companies can make before they need to start refunding premiums. Is the US not a capitalist society? Don't consumers have free will to chose a better priced alternative if their initial choice is too high?

The long term issue this refund is bound to bring on is underfunded insurance carriers that will turn into the next bailout crisis. Additionally, the law requires that certain aspects of health coverage be available on all policies without passing on the cost. Unfunded mandates for the private sector now. Female contraception is one of these mandates. I'm not one of these wing nuts that thinks contraceptives shouldn't be made available, but I do have a problem with companies being forced to provide the coverage gratis.

Pharma sold themselves out to escape the provisions of Obamacare and now that the law is in jeopardy it looks like they will have the most to lose. One party whining about the deals the other party was able to get done is nothing new. That's most of the problem with politicians they have nothing new to offer.


Condor said...

Thanks Anonymous --

I do hear you -- and agree with about 80 percent of your take.

I am not so sure though, that limiting excess profits, on the delivery of health care is a bad idea. I also do not think a limit on profits equates with an increased risk of overall system wide business failures.

Finally, if one doesn't want to provide needed health care services to all comers, one should not be in the health care insurance business, I guess.

Would you take the same position -- if (let's say) that a life insurer who took notice of the shorter life expectancies for blacks (but knew that the law of the land wouldn't let him charge blacks more than whites) in America (for example), and declared -- on supposedly-religious principles, that he shouldn't have to lose money on black people, so he won't cover them, at all. . . would you be as sure taht we ought to allow that?

I know the analogy is not perfect, but I am puzzled by insurers that claim they shouldn't have to cover birth control. First -- it is not free -- the same co-pays and deductibles are allowed to apply. Second, should an insurer be allowed to decide -- for the insured -- whether it thinks the insureds' choices are moral?

I think not.

Thanks again -- Namaste!

Anonymous said...

I enjoy you Condor, very much. I am sorry to have to inform you that the birth control provision is, however, exempt from co-pay and deductible calculations by law.

I will agree with you that there are many hard to solve aspects of the state of healthcare and each proposed solution comes with its own set of other problems. I just have a fundamental problem with the government ultimately managing my healthcare. Even in old age I can choose a private policy with costs borne by myself, with coverage of my own choosing, care directed by my physician and me instead of using Medicare. Under the Affordable Care Act I am removed for making such choices and I don't think that is the role of government.