"It’s astonishing to watch the press corps pass all this off as just another day at the Oval Office. During the Bush years, even eye contact with a business, CEO or lobbyist was treated as prima facie evidence of corruption. There was the furor over Dick Cheney’s 'secret energy task force,' and even the Iraq war was engineered to benefit Halliburton, Blackwater and Big Oil. But apparently having corporate America dictate public policy is fine as long as it’s the largest expansion of the welfare state since the Great Society.
As for Mr. Tauzin’s gambit that playing nice would spare his industry, he evidently missed the sign hanging above Congress’s chambers: 'Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.' Mr. Waxman responded, 'PhRMA would like to see if they can get a bargain. I think that PhRMA should contribute more than PhRMA wants to contribute.' Senator Dick Durbin chimed in that 'I don’t think any, if many, of us feel bound by any understanding or agreement along those lines.'
What this Abbott and Costello routine exposes is the industry folly of thinking that liberals could be appeased. By now it is beyond obvious that Democrats view whole segments of the health-care industry as expendable. After all, what do insurers really do, besides bilk consumers? Government already pays Medicare bills; it can handle the under-65 crowd too.
Over time doctors can be transferred into the civil service, but if they’re good sports maybe at a higher pay grade than the DMV. As for drug research and development, the National Institutes of Health can fill in—and as a bonus, all those government-funded professors won’t care about profits either. For the Democrats running Congress, merely allowing a business to continue to exist is a concession."