Senate Passes Health Care Bill
When the drug companies cut a deal with the white house to cut prices by 80 billion dollars over ten years, it just made me think about how much they must be screwing us to be able to afford that. They always cite their high costs for research and development, but that actually runs less than what they spend on advertising and promotion, which was 19 billion last year. I find all this incredible.
Data from the Center for Responsive Politics made the wire last week with news that over $600 million was spent last year to influence U.S. lawmakers working to overhaul the health care system; that 3,300 registered lobbyists swarmed the 535 members of Congress. Did all this expense hurt AHIP’s bottom line? Apparently not, as the S&P index of managed care insurers was up 34% for the year.
So the sausage meat has been ground at last, and next month the conference committee will get together to stuff it into hog casings. BartCop quoted NPR’s Will Wilkerson saying “The way health care reform has proceeded somehow reminds me of the way slavery got built into the Constitution.”
The big players all got their money’s worth, and at the going rate, their lobbying expenses will amount to only pennies on the dollar compared to what they stand to gain. This legislation may prove to be an expensive and shamefully wasteful first step out of the evil boondoggle our system has become, but may never evolve into what it ought to be until we make great strides in public education, reform campaign finance, reverse media consolidation, and monkeys fly out our butts.