Salon published an exclusive story that in some ways will surprise no one. For those of us who knew how Big Pharma helped bring down "HillaryCare," their willingness to sacrifice the American people upon the altar of greed is a given. But the depths to which they are willing to betray us and the people we elect to represent us has no limits.
During the fight for the Affordable Care Act, while Billy Tauzin, the president of the pharmaceutical lobby, was speaking of Big Pharma's support for the ACA, the industry was funding the American Legislative Exchange Council, aka ALEC, and their pocket Republicans' efforts to derail it.
Exclusive: Shady double-agent’s Obamacare sabotage: Top “supporter” quietly funded its oppositionNot even rigging the Super Bowl would beat this deep and dirty betrayal of us all. Due to Pharmaceutical Industry, ALEC, and Republican manipulation, millions of people were left unable to enroll in the ACA's Medicaid expansion. Thousands will suffer and die needlessly.
...Publicly, PhRMA had banded together in negotiating its conditional support for the Affordable Care Act, and Tauzin, a former Louisiana congressman-turned-lobbyist, was the man responsible for protecting drug industry profits. In exchange for the industry’s public support of healthcare reform, his organization extracted a series of drug pricing concessions from the White House. But privately, Salon has learned, while the industry was outwardly supporting the Affordable Care Act, it was also quietly funding a nationwide effort to derail its implementation at the state level.
Tax records show that PhRMA initiated a series of payments to the American Legislative Exchange Council with a $379,192 contribution in 2008. Tauzin’s powerful lobby continued its payments to ALEC throughout its negotiations with the White House. Between 2008 and 2011, those contributions exceeded $1.25 million.
ALEC, a conservative group serving as a clearinghouse for state-level legislation, opposed the Affordable Care Act and launched its Health Care Freedom Initiative in 2008, the same year that PhRMA initiated its support. The project promised to “expose the truth about ObamaCare and fight back — one state at a time.” It also armed state lawmakers with “14 specific recommendations to push back against Obamacare” and offered boilerplate legislation with its “Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act.” While publicly disclosed filings show PhRMA’s support of ALEC beginning in 2008, the ALEC-PhRMA relationship may have begun earlier: In 2007, Tauzin received ALEC’s Adam Smith Free Enterprise Award....
As if that wasn't bad enough, Big Pharma and ALEC's efforts to destroy the Affordable Care Act are on-going.
No matter how far from universal health care the ACA may be, apparently it is not nearly distant enough. No matter the host of regulations that still need to be put into place to improve health care while reigning in costs and abuse of the system - any regulations are far too many for Big Pharma, ALEC, and other vested interests. Profit and control of that profit rule any other considerations, including the suffering and deaths of our people.
Republicans in State Legislatures and in Congress are hell bent on continuing their scorched earth path of destruction. The last years have shown their determination to destroy health care reform, voting rights, workers rights, women's rights, environmental regulations, civil rights, any action on Climate Change, and the economy, what ever it takes to hold on to power. The pain so many Americans have been experiencing is not an accident. It's by design. We are all being sacrificed on an altar of ideology that says "greed is good." It has to stop and we are the ones who must make that happen. We simply must take our government back on all levels.
I wasn't in a good mood before I read the Salon piece. The day started with internet connection issues and there have been problems with FB that freezes FireFox on a regular basis.
Reading the Salon piece did not improve my frame of mind. So consider this fair warning. As far as I'm concerned this is the most important election year of my over sixty year life.
I don't care about it being a "mid term." I don't care about how history says people don't come out and vote during mid-terms. And I really don't care how badly anyone thinks President Obama did "x," "y," or "z," and "should have know better," "sold us out," or should have lived or died on getting the Public Option passed, or dismantled the health insurance industry - even if doing so meant Health Care Reform and any hope for it died for another hundred years. And please, don't bother telling this woman married to a disabled Viet Vet and with a child who has forever life threatening health issues that "both parties are the same." Walk a year or thirty in my shoes and then get back to me.
We simply don't have time for the luxury of cynicism and despair.
We need to be doing everything possible, no matter how small it may seem to get information out to people. We need to be doing everything to Get out the Vote.
As much as I wish there was, there simply is no other option that has a chance in hell of changing things. If you have one that actually prevents the Supreme Court from becoming even more owned by the Oligarchs and Dominionists I'd love to hear it.
If you have one that can fight back against the Voter Suppression going on in state after state, I'd love to hear about it.
If you have one that shuts down the War on Women, that would be wonderful.
And if you have one that puts ALEC out of business that would be manna to my soul.
Until then, what we have to work with is the system in play and that we can do something about.
Talk to your friends and neighbors. Heck, talk with your mechanic and the folks at the laundry mat. I do. Write Letters to the Editor. Use social media. And sign up somewhere, anywhere, to help GTVO!
I've signed up to help Mike Michaud defeat our odious Governor LePage. That is just one step among many that I can take.
We can all DO something. We made "change happen" last year that the GOP and their owners did not see coming. We can damn well do so again this year.
In November I want to see a groundswell of Democrats lined up at the polls and voting. I want to see Republican voters in Red States voting against the Republicans who have sold them down the river. I want to see Karl Rove's and the Koch Brothers' faces as the voting numbers come in and they know that they've lost. I want to see MSM's beltway experts have to explain away how they failed yet again.
I want more and better Democrats in the Senate and House and in Legislatures all over the country. I want it so badly I can taste it. How about you?
Let's get it done. Together, we can move mountains. It's time.