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Most Americans have no idea what truly went on behind closed doors during the crafting and illegitimate passing of Obamacare, also known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. But a congressional investigation currently underway is seeking to unearth the dirty details, including how drug giants like Pfizer Inc. and Merck & Co. greased the financial wheels to make sure their pharmaceuticals received preferential treatment as part of the health care overhaul.
As reported by Bloomberg, Republicans from the House Energy and Commerce Committee have been toiling for roughly a year now to obtain key documents, emails and other pertinent information exposing the truth about Big Pharma’s role in the creation of Obamacare. But to date, neither the Obama White House nor Big Pharma has cooperated in any significant way in releasing any of this information, according to the committee.
"This has been like pulling teeth, trying to get information", said Congressman Michael Burgess (R-Tex.), to Bloomberg. Besides Pfizer and Merck, drug companies Amgen Inc., Abbott Laboratories and AstraZeneca are also being pressed by Rep. Burgess and his allies for information, as are industry lobbyists, lawyers, and several doctor and hospital groups.
What is it they hope to find? To start, it is already clear that Big Pharma agreed to provide price discounts on drugs in exchange for their being covered as part of Obamacare. But other secret deals between Obama and the drug industry were likely made as well, and Rep. Burgess wants to know what those were and under what terms they were negotiated.
"For (Big Pharma), the ACA (Obamacare) is a gift, bringing in anywhere between 30 - 40 million people who could not previously afford pharmaceuticals", Peter Pitts from the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is quoted as saying by Medical Marketing and Media.
Meanwhile, at least 26 U.S. states are currently challenging the constitutionality of Obamacare, and the Supreme Court is expected to rule on the constitutionality of Obamacare in late June.
This potential nullification of Obamacare at both the state and federal levels would obviously also nullify the special deals made between the Obama White House and Big Pharma. But for the time being, full disclosure and transparency —which was the hallmark rhetoric of the Obama campaign from the beginning— is in due order.
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(9 de mayo de 2012)