Obama Working Closely With For-Profit Healthcare Lobbyist


It’s unclear where President Obama stands on a public option choice as lobbyist from the for-profit industry continue to meddle with the president on his health care initiative.

Since President Obama took office, he has received numerous visits from for-profit health insurance and pharmaceutical companies. A watchdog group even sued the White House to obtain the visits log to compare how many advocacy groups had been given the same access to Obama. The findings were, zero.

According to a Los Angeles Times article on Tuesday, the pharmaceutical companies have given the White House’s health care initiative it’s “blessing.” Obama and former Louisiana congressman Billy Tauzin, are reportedly working very closely. Tauzin has been the top lobbyist of the for-profit health care industry and his influence has had a huge impact on how Obama has molded his health care plan to the whims of the industry.

This is a snippet of the L.A. Times article:

For his part, Tauzin said he had not only received the White House pledge to forswear Medicare drug price bargaining, but also a separate promise not to pursue another proposal Obama supported during the campaign: importing cheaper drugs from Canada or Europe. Both proposals could cost the industry billions, undermine its ability to develop new cures and, in the case of imports, possibly compromise safety, industry officials contend.

Obama has already said that he does not intent to do a government “take over” of the health care system, but the GOP continues to argue that his true motives are to adopt a single-payer system.

The Washington Post reported today that Karen Ignagni, president of America’s Health Insurance Plans is “lashing out” at groups that “demonize” the health plans that the for-profit health care industry offers.

She also reiterated her group’s opposition to a government-run health insurance option, saying it would bankrupt hospitals, send private insurers into a death spiral and break the promise that people could keep the coverage they already have.

Without mentioning President Obama by name, she tapped into allegations that Obama supports the public option as a way to put the nation on a path to a government-run single-payer system. If that is the intent, it should be discussed openly, she said.

Where does Obama stand then if on one side he is being accused of pushing for “socialized” medecine, but on another, he is having drinks with the top for-profit health care lobbyist?