Energy And Commerce Investigation Reveals Obama Secretly Cut A Deal With Lobbyist Group PhRMA On Health Care Reform

It was first reported back in 2009 that the Obama administration cut a deal with the PhRMA to break specific campaign promises he made about health care reform in exchange for PhRMA spending money to politically support the bill. Thanks to some newly revealed emails via Philip Klein at the Washington Examiner we now have more details of how the deal was made.

Nancy DeParle, then director of the White House Office of Health Reform, wrote the following email to PhRMA’s chief lobbyist on June 3, 2009: “Yes – I pushed this to everyone (Messina, Rahm) is in Egypt with POTUS but Phil Schrillo, Dana Singlser and I made decision, based on how constructive you guys have been, to oppose importation on this bill.


That September, top PhRMA lobbyist Bryant Hall reported to his coworkers in an email that he “had a good call w Messina,” and wrote: “Confidential: WH is working on some very explicit language on importation to kill it in health care reform. This has to stay quiet.

Between May and August 2009, as the White House officials and key players in Congress were formulating the national health care law, the Obama administration held ongoing negotiations with PhRMA to secure industry support for the health care law as well as other policy concessions.

A report by the House Energy And Commerce goes into details:

“Documents obtained through the investigation confirm the existence of a deal between the White House and PhRMA. The deal included explicit policy commitments, affirmed in a closed-door meeting at the White House on July 7, 2009…And in its review of the tactics used by the White House, the investigation identified a potent combination of policy threats and private reassurances that industry would be protected against policies it disliked in exchange for support of the legislation and acceptance of other policies. Taken together, these findings help illuminate a previously opaque series of agreements that resulted in a fundamental reshaping of our nation’s health care system.”


(via anarcho-queer)

Twenty years ago, Switzerland had a system very similar to America’s - private insurers, private providers - with very similar problems. People didn’t buy insurance but ended up in emergency rooms, insurers screened out people with pre-existing conditions, and costs were rising fast. The country came to the conclusion that to make health care work, everyone had to buy insurance. So the Swiss passed an individual mandate and reformed their system along lines very similar to Obamacare. The reform law passed by referendum, narrowly.

The result two decades later: quality of care remains very high, everyone has access, and costs have moderated. Switzerland spends 11% of its GDP on health care, compared with 17% in the U.S. Its 8 million people have health care that is not tied to their employers, they can choose among many plans, and they can switch plans every year. Overall satisfaction with the system is high.

Fareed Zakaria

Like I said, universal health care has worked in many countries for decades. The evidence is overwhelming.  

(via prettayprettaygood)

LTMC: whatever do you mean?  Socialism has ravaged Scandinavian welfare countries.  Just look at this hellhole:

what a wretched monument to tyranny.

(via letterstomycountry)

ataxiwardance: I’ve constructed a few arguments for single payer universal healthcare in my days. Some economic and some moral. I’m a creative and fairly good critical thinker but no abstract argument ever seem to be as compelling as the (relatively undisputable) empirical evidence that their shit just works better.

Right wing scare mongering and the occasional horror story about NHS aside, I’d be happy to trade such spook stories for the constant nightmare of the US healthcare system.

(via letterstomycountry)

“The day the Supreme Court gathered behind closed doors to consider the politically divisive question of whether it would hear a challenge to President Obama’s healthcare law, two of its justices, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, were feted at a dinner sponsored by the law firm that will argue the case before the high court.”

Scalia and Thomas dine with healthcare law challengers as court takes case - latimes.com

Say what you want about demands or white-boy dreadlocks, if you think our system isn’t TOTALLY FUCKED you are probably just a moron.

(via rachelfershleiser)

and Kagan is the one who needs to recuse herself?

(via section9)

(via absurdlakefront)

Massachusetts Moves Towards Single Payer Healthcare

BOSTON — On the Republican campaign trail, the health care debate has focused on the mandatory coverage that Mitt Romney signed into law as governor in 2006. But back in Massachusetts the conversation has moved on, and lawmakers are now confronting the problem that Mr. Romney left unaddressed: the state’s spiraling health care costs.

After three years of study, the state’s legislative leaders appear close to producing bills that would make Massachusetts the first state — again — to radically revamp the way doctors, hospitals and other health providers are paid.

Although important details remain to be negotiated, the legislative leaders and Gov. Deval Patrick, all Democrats, are working toward a plan that would encourage flat “global payments” to networks of providers for keeping patients well, replacing the fee-for-service system that creates incentives for excessive care by paying for each visit and procedure.

“We have shown the nation how to extend care to everybody,” Mr. Patrick said in an interview, “and we’ll be the place to crack the code on costs.”

“My father got sick when I was 22… and I was poor. And my father had an ulcer, and it exploded, and, you know, all these toxins get in your blood - and basically, my father died 50 days after his ulcer. So I had a father get sick while I was poor.

My mother got sick while I was rich. I don’t really wanna get into to it, but my mother was sicker than my father, okay? And my mother’s alive. My mother’s fine, okay?

I remember going to the hospital to see my mother and wondering, was I in the right place? Like, this is a hotel! Like, it had a concierge, man! …If the average person really knew the discrepancy in the healthcare system, there’d be riots in the streets, okay? They would burn this motherfucker down.”
— Chris Rock, responding to host Bill Maher asking if he ever went to the emergency room as his primary healthcare provider, on Real Time  (via freedomthroughpiracy, inothernews) (via mirrorfloatinginwater)
“In the past, conservatives accepted the need for a government-provided safety net on humanitarian grounds. Don’t take it from me, take it from Friedrich Hayek, the conservative intellectual hero, who specifically declared in “The Road to Serfdom” his support for “a comprehensive system of social insurance” to protect citizens against “the common hazards of life,” and singled out health in particular.”

Paul Krugman

Here is the full quote from “Road to Serfdom:”

Nor is there any reason why the state should not assist individuals in providing for those common hazards of life against which, because of their uncertainty, few individuals can make adequate provision. Where, as in the case of sickness and accident, neither the desire to avoid such calamities nor the efforts to overcome their consequences are as a rule weakened by the provision of assistance, where, in short, we deal with genuinely insurable risks, the case for the state helping to organise a comprehensive system of social insurance is very strong. There are many points of detail where those wishing to preserve the competitive system and those wishing to supersede it by something different will disagree on the details of such schemes; and it is possible under the name of social insurance to introduce measures which tend to make competition more or less ineffective. But there is no incompatibility in principle between the state providing greater security in this way and the preservation of individual freedom.


Why Do Americans Pay More For Healthcare?

via violetimpudence & lizczukas

today… today will be a day of insightful infographics!

i encourage you to check out part 1 as well as 2.

(via notational)

Estimated waste in American health-care spending

AMERICA has a talent for wasting money on health care. It has devised many ingenious ways to do this. A patient may see many skilled specialists, none of whom co-ordinate with one another. Payment systems are unfathomably complex and highly variable. Doctors order duplicative or unnecessary tests. The country excels at treating sick people and does a horrible job keeping them from getting sick in the first place. All these problems, however, are due to a simple, structural failing: the more services a hospital provides, the more it is paid.

“people are still losing their houses to pay for their cancer treatment. and maybe they’re not allowed to be dropped from that plan, but they’re allowed to hike up the premiums to make it impossible for us to pay. all obama did was make it so EVERYONE is allowed to be fucked over, and not just a precious few.”
Greenstate, on the Healthcare Reform Bill. (via letterstomycountry)
“Planned Parenthood 2008 Budget:

Contraception Services: 35%
STI/STD Testing and Treatment: 34%
Cancer Screening and Prevention: 17%
Pregnancy Tests/Pre-Natal Visits: 10%
Abortion Services: 3%
Other Services: 1%”