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A little noticed piece in the Boston Globe in 2007 (h/t SHV at The Widdershins) – chronicles how Obama gained the sponsorship of the big Pharma.

While in Illinois, he managed to gut a meaningful healthcare reform, at a time when Democrats gained control, by siding with the Pharma lobbyists

By the time the legislation passed the Senate, in May 2004, Obama had written three successful amendments, at least one of which made key changes favorable to insurers.

Most significant, universal healthcare became merely a policy goal instead of state policy

and as a result

Lobbyists praised Obama for taking the insurance industry’s concerns into consideration.

“Barack is a very reasonable person who clearly recognized the various roles involved in the healthcare system,” said Phil Lackman, a lobbyist for insurance agents and brokers. Obama “understood our concern that we didn’t want a predetermined outcome.”

Fast forward to the present day – when Democrats took control in large part on the promise of meaningful healthcare reform. What does Obama do? According to the NY Times

Obama Reverses Stand on Drug Industry Deal

Back to Jr’s non-interference in negotiating the price of drugs for medicare. The new York Times calls it

the delicate balancing act the White House has pursued in its strategy of negotiating behind-the-scenes deals to win industry support without alienating liberal supporters on Capitol Hill.

while Slate calls it

Obama’s Biggest Health Reform BlunderHow Big Pharma’s Billy Tauzin conned the White House out of $76 billion.

Except it wasn’t a blunder. If you look at his record in Illinois, it was all planned.It’s back to Bush’s “let’s not interfere with Pharma riping off sick people”

The first comment there is interesting

I voted for Obama, and I’m wondering right now whether Hilary would have been a better choice. She is the more experienced politician after all, and although her presidency would have been galvanizing for the right, I think she might have been tough enough to handle it.

Obama has this incessant need to bring everyone to the table to supposedly come up with “win-win” solutions….more

And it all explains why Business Week declared the insurers the winners of this health reform

The carriers have succeeded in redefining the terms of the reform debate to such a degree that no matter what specifics emerge in the voluminous bill Congress may send to President Obama this fall, the insurance industry will emerge more profitable.

So, while the feble minded Republicans hurl accusations of Socialism while the B0bots accuse them of being thugs, unpatriotic and…”fishy”, Big Pharma got what they paid for last election: a lobbyist in the White House.

And the misframing of the healthcare debate reminds me of another famous one for with the media “apologized”: going to the war in Iraq. There was a debate then too: should we go in March? Should have we gone last September? Should we go with a big humoungous army, or with Rummy’s “blitzkrieg”? All the time, no one was asking: why go to war at all? Who benefits from this?

Same way as no one is asking: why caring for the sick has to be a business? Who benefits from this?


Payback time! Now that they are assured that they’ll profit without limits at the expense of the sick, the drug companies will spend to advertise Obama’s plan

Drug Industry to Run Ads Favoring White House Plan

The drug industry has authorized its lobbyists to spend as much as $150 million on television commercials supporting President Obama’s health care overhaul,

Just don’t pay any attention to the small print

“this may cause bankruptcy, poverty or death – if these symptoms occur contact the undertaker immediately”…


John Conyers is disappointed in Obama and doesn’t think that what’s being voted will ever lead to single payer

Update 2

Since, Obama explicitly denounced single payer as too radical


The meetings with he Insurance CEOs in February are documented here

WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama’s administration began holding private meetings with health industry executives at the White House a few weeks after he took office, a visitor list released Wednesday night by the White House shows. Lobbyists were among those there to talk health care.