September 8, 2009
"I'm appalled by the deal the White House has made with the pharmaceutical industry's
lobbying arm to buy their support....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."
- Former Clinton Administration Labor Secretary Robert Reich, blog posting, August 9, 2009
A recent analysis released by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found what many policy-makers have long believed-that House Democrats' government takeover of health care (H.R. 3200) will raise Medicare prescription drug premiums for seniors "by about 5 percent in 2011, rising to about 20 percent in 2019:"
- The CBO estimated that provisions in the bill to gradually eliminate the Part D "doughnut hole" would raise Part D premiums. The analysis confirms a previous CBO report estimating that immediate elimination of the "doughnut hole" would cause Medicare premiums to rise by 50 percent.
- CBO also found that providing discounts for brand-name drugs within the Part D "doughnut hole" would "increase federal spending" and thus premiums for seniors. While the discount provision is at the heart of an agreement reached between Democrats and the pharmaceutical industry to provide $80 billion in "savings" to fund health "reform," the CBO analysis confirms that seniors will be paying more as a result of these "discounts."
- Even though the agreement he negotiated would raise Medicare premiums for seniors, the head of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) publicly bragged that drug manufacturers had negotiated a "rock-solid deal" with the Administration.
- As the New York Times has noted, big drug companies have embraced Democrats' government takeover of health care: "Foreseeing new profits from the expansion of health coverage, they arespending as much as $150 million on advertisements to support the President's plan," hiring AKPD to generate publicity in support of Democrats' health "reform." AKPD owes its former founder-White House Senior Advisor David Axelrod-$2 million in compensation, and employs David Axelrod's son.
Thus the past several weeks have revealed two inconvenient truths about Democrats' government
takeover of health care-seniors' Medicare premiums will rise 20 percent, while Big Pharma companies
are so certain of higher profits that they are willing to spend up to $150 million in support of the
Democrat agenda. The juxtaposition of higher premiums for seniors and higher profits for drug
companies has raised concerns even among proponents of government-run health care like Robert Reich.
Is this the kind of change we can believe in?
For additional information, contact:
The House Republican Conference Policy Office