Paying the Piper

Robert Reich writes today about the deals that have been cut to get healthcare reform legislation passed:

Big Pharma is on the road to getting its deal: not only 25 to 30 million more paying customers, but also a continued ban on Medicare using its bargaining clout to reduce drug prices, a bar on genetic drug manufacturers introducing similar biologic drugs until the originals have been on the market at least twelve years, and no public insurance option to negotiate low drug prices.

….Big insurance is well on the way to getting what it wants: 25 to 30 million more paying customers (many of them young and healthy), a requirement that almost all businesses “pay or play,” and no competition from a public option.

….Doctors (that is, the American Medical Association) are on the way to getting what they want: Instead of a temporary patch on scheduled decreases in Medicare reimbursements to them, a permanent fix that would change the reimbursement formula altogether and reward them $240 billion over the next ten years.

Think that’s bad?  Consider this: even with all these giveaways in place, healthcare reform still might not pass.  And if it does, it will pass only barely.  Are you feeling better yet?

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Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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