Compiled by Jos. Morales, The Piper www.cdmag.us or www.joseph.knows.it
Without accountability even the best laid plans are mere illusion. Ultimately the buck must stop with you or you simply won't get it. America pays, per capita, twice as much as any country that offers free health care to it's citizens ( www.americanignorance.com/main/articles/hello-world ). I personally know people who have been denied vital cancer treatment in this country. Although I am in favor of a "universal" health care solution we must be wary about expanding the Clinton-Bush-Obama Big Pharma-AIG health care bailout in a post 9/11 environment where the perpetrators were not only never charged, or prosecuted, but were enriched because of it. The laws banning Big Pharma advertising to the public were lifted during the Clinton Administration putting the US in violation of international treaty. Although still illegal in most countries they are still subject to US based Big Pharma web advertising. Big Pharma's over all advertising & bad meds have effectively mushroomed health care costs. -jm
DC Johnston's book Free Lunch "...offers a window into subsidy politics in Washington & why so many, who pose as protectors of the public purse, are so willing to raid it. The bill was written in a way that looked out first for the drug makers, AIG & other health insurance companies. The elderly were simply a tool to that end. The effort to conceal what was really going on was multipronged. One key provision prohibited the government from negotiating the lowest possible bulk prices ensuring massive profits even by the famously lush standards of the pharmaceutical industry which ranks second only to the military-industrial complex in profitability &, in turn, enrich some lawmakers & staff who end up in lucrative positions in the very companies they enrich.
Rangel (pronounced "wrangle") was was kept out of the loop that September AM, when he met a pack of journalists, even though he was the one House Democrat on the conference committee named to work out the final version of the prescription drug bill but Rangel had an idea where he could find the conferees. Rangel waved the entourage past the guard down the hallway coming to a halt outside the swinging doors. Voices could be heard & shadows were visible above & below the doors. "I'm charging the room," Rangel said, mugging for the camera, but they all slipped out a side door leaving Rangel standing with a handful of reporters. The locations of meetings were not the only things the bill's backers were hiding. The Bush White House said the drug benefit would cost $400 billion in the first 10 years. Cybele Bjorklund of Rangel's staff suspected the number was higher & asked Richard Foster, the Medicare chief actuary, for his analyses. Foster said he had the numbers, but that his boss, Scully, would fire him if he told what he knew. When the bill came up for a vote on the House floor many members suspected the real cost was hidden but lacked the data needed for debate. The vote began 3 AM 11/22/03. Under House rules votes can take no more than 15 minutes. House Speaker Hastert and his whip DeLay, kept the vote open for almost 3 hrs, the longest in the history of the House. The time was used to cajol & threat the vote through. Bush made predawn calls to some reps. Drug industry lobbyists were thicker than ants on sugar. "Bribes & special deals were offered to convince members to cave", Michigan Representative Smith later told his constituents, "I was targeted by lobbyists & congressional leadership to change my fiscal conservative "NO" vote. They made threats against my son, Brad, who was running for my seat. I insisted that this bill was a trojan horse opening the gate to explosive new costs and huge unfunded liabilities that will burden future generations." The real cost was almost a trillion & many key Washington criminals "officially" went to work for Big Pharma & it's insurance companies."