Monday, August 10, 2009

Guess Who Wrote This

. Monday, August 10, 2009

I'll bet you can't:

In return, Big Pharma isn't just supporting universal health care. It's also spending a lots of money on TV and radio advertising in support. Sunday's New York Times reports that Big Pharma has budgeted $150 million for TV ads promoting universal health insurance, starting this August (that's more money than John McCain spent on TV advertising in last year's presidential campaign), after having already spent a bundle through advocacy groups like Healthy Economies Now and Families USA.

I want universal health insurance... But I also care about democracy, and the deal between Big Pharma and the White House frankly worries me. It's bad enough when industry lobbyists extract concessions from members of Congress, which happens all the time. But when an industry gets secret concessions out of the White House in return for a promise to lend the industry's support to a key piece of legislation, we're in big trouble. That's called extortion: An industry is using its capacity to threaten or prevent legislation as a means of altering that legislation for its own benefit. And it's doing so at the highest reaches of our government, in the office of the President.

Who do you think? Some liberaltarian? Perhaps one of the anonymous writers of The Economist? One of The Atlantic's econobloggers? One of the Douthat/Salam Third Way Republicans?

Would you believe that it's Robert Reich? It is, and there is more at the link.

One of the major arguments for a government health care program is that the government can use its massive purchasing power to extract cost concessions from private firms. Obama has reiterated this point over and over, and more often couched health care reform in terms of fiscal prudence rather than social justice. That argument is losing more credibility the further along this process goes (the CBO took another bite out of that argument recently). If Obama's plan isn't revenue-neutral, then he has to decide how to pay for it. That means tax cuts or deficits, both of which he has pledged himself against. Something's gotta give.

ht: Lebron


Guess Who Wrote This
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