When they were members of Congress, President Obama and Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel strongly backed measures to legalize the importation of cheaper prescription drugs from Canada and other nations. On Tuesday, the Obama administration–siding with the drug industry–thwarted a bid by a bipartisan group of Senators to add the provision to the Democratic health care bill when it was clear the amendment threatened to derail the overall legislation, a top Obama priority.
THEN, 2008: Then Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) campaigns in support of legalization of imported drugs from Canada and other western nations.
THEN, 2004: Then Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) was the leader of a movement to try to make legal the importation of prescription drugs from Canada and other countries to the U.S. In 2004, I wrote how Emanuel “deserves the credit for elevating importing drugs to a national issue.”
This all came about because of the White House whoring themselves out to the multi-million dollar profit industry known as Big Pharma.
Within a decade, reimportation would save consumers roughly $80 billion and the federal government $19 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office. But that would mean $100 billion more in lost revenue than the powerful Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) lobby agreed to bear– in exchange for being supportive of the overall health reform effort.
In other words Big Pharma told the White House they will lose no money and that’s what the White House is promising them. And remember – the deal that Pharma said they would shave $8 billion a year off the nation’s drug prices was nothing but smoke and mirrors as they immediately started jacking the prices way up after making that agreement.
What kind of savings would this have meant for you and me? Let’s take a common drug for high cholesterol – Lipitor. 20mg of Lipitor in the U.S. costs $4.11 per pill, while in Canada you can get it for $1.70 per pill. That is pure price gouging and this President and 30 Democrats in the Senate think it’s fine and dandy.
But don’t worry – big Pharma still gets to import their products. God forbid we stop that!