Posted on March 15th, 2012
We have seen previously how the contraception mandate is a dream of the new fascists: inconsequential sex, disregard for children, erosion of religious liberty, and more power ceded to the government. But there is also money to be made here, and Big Pharma is the winner. Here’s Peter Schweizer on the role of Big Pharma:
It’s important to point out that among President Obama’s biggest financial backers are precisely the Big Pharma companies who benefit from the mandate. Sally Sussman, head of government affairs for Pfizer, is one of his biggest campaign bundlers, who co-hosted a fundraiser for Obama on Thursday night. Pfizer sells numerous contraceptives that now must be covered by health-care plans. Obama’s financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry run deep. During the 2008 presidential campaign, he collected three times more in contributions from pharmaceutical manufacturers than John McCain, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. And he will no doubt win the money race again during this election cycle. President Obama’s not the only one who has mandated certain health-care requirements for the benefit of companies with which he has close ties. Back in 2007, Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed an executive order that required school girls in Texas be vaccinated with Gardasil, which fights against a sexually transmitted virus linked to cervical cancer (the full cost of the three-shot vaccine is $360). Again, forget the culture war politics for a second. Instead of looking at the bedroom, follow the money to the corporate boardroom: Gardasil is produced by pharma giant Merck, whose chief lobbyist in Texas at the time had been Perry’s chief of staff. Merck was a campaign contributor, and had also made contributions to the Republican Governors Association while he headed that organization. Again, a corporation supports a politician who in turn issues a mandate that creates a bigger market and larger profits for its product.
Forget the culture war politics for a second. Instead of looking at the bedroom, follow the money to the corporate boardroom.
Back in the nation’s capital, Big Pharma has spent a lot of money over the past couple of years, keeping an army of lobbyists employed. As Tim Carney of theWashington Examiner pointed out last year, since the Obama administration took office, “the drug industry’s $635 million in lobbying exceeds that of Wall Street and the oil and gas industry, combined.” And the lesson seems to be clear: it is money well spent. Not only did they get largely what they wanted from Obama’s health-care-reform law (no caps on drug prices, no reimportation from Canada); now, President Obama’s mandate is broadening the market for their products. With drug prices so high, the best way it can increase demand for its products is to get the federal government to mandate payment for it.
Follow the money. Free love isn’t so free after all.
You can find Schweizer’s entire piece here at the Daily Beast.