WASHINGTON — The drug industry has authorized its lobbyists to spend as much as $150 million on television commercials supporting President Obama’s health care overhaul, beginning over the August Congressional recess, people briefed on the plans said Saturday.
The unusually large scale of the industry’s commitment to the cause helps explain some of a contentious back-and-forth playing out in recent days between the odd-couple allies over a deal that the White House struck with the industry in June to secure its support. The terms of the deal were not fully disclosed. Both sides had announced that the drug industry would contribute $80 billion over 10 years to the cost of the health care overhaul without spelling out the details.
This is the part where you see just how much advertising President Obama has purchased:
By comparison, President Obama’s presidential campaign spent about $236 million on television commercials while the campaign of the Republican candidate, Senator John McCain of Arizona, spent about $126 million. Few expect the opponents of the health care overhaul to muster as much advertising muscle as its backers, including sympathetic business groups, labor unions and ideological allies. The drug makers stand to gain millions of new customers from the expansion of health care coverage.
So that would be more commercials for health insurance reform [notice they no longer call it "health care" reform] paid for by Big Pharma than the entire McCain campaign purchased last year.
Recall, please, as I reported yesterday, that the drug companies consider $80 billion to be a maximum contribution that is not guaranteed, and that candidate Barack Obama has just given away two major concessions [low-cost drugs imported from foreign countries and government negotiations for lower-prices] that he made centerpieces of his health care agenda during 2008.
Strangely, Delaware's leading liberal political blog is far more interested in the antics of Sarah Palin and debating whether it is worse for one of their own to have called a Downs Syndrome child a retard than it would have been to call an African-American child a nigger than in actually addressing the fact that their President has now been publicly bought and paid for by the pharmaceutical industry.
So what else is new?