Cross posted on Daily Kos
Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 07:53:28 AM PDT
Jack Abramoff is one big, fat, ugly sacrificial lamb.
Jack Abramoff is but the tip of the iceberg.
THEY want you to keep your eye fixed directly on Abramoff so you won’t put two and two together.
The two and two you damn well better start putting together involves the ugly reality that lobbysists stole your grandmother’s Medicare Prescription Drug benefit and lots of other things since the inauguration of the Worst President Ever.
I’m keeping my eye on the Medicare swindle because there’s big $$$ here.
Public Citizen reported in June, 2003 that the pharmauceutical industry employed over 600 lobbyists most with revolving door connections to senators and congress scum.
“The pharmaceutical industry’s most significant victory came in derailing efforts to include a prescription drug benefit in the traditional Medicare program. Instead, the industry pushed to have Medicare drug coverage provided by private insurers and HMOs – fracturing the bargaining power of the 41 million Medicare beneficiaries in negotiating for lower prices.
“The drug industry is winning the war on Capitol Hill right now,” said Frank Clemente, director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch. “The Medicare bills before Congress provide drug coverage only through private insurers – not Medicare. This will safeguard their astronomical profits for as far as the eye can see and keep seniors and people with disabilities scrambling to cover their prescription costs.”
Read about one lobbying firm, Larson Dodd. These good folks stole your grandmother’s Lipitor:
“Larson Dodd Stewart & Myrick, LLC, is a full service, Washington, D.C.-based Government Relations firm headed by a team of experienced professionals. Our firm helps clients to navigate through the complex legislative and regulatory processes by designing and implementing innovative advocacy strategies. With over 20 years combined senior-level Capitol Hill experience and an extensive network of contacts, our firm can assist clients with issues before Congress, the Administration, or federal agencies.”
On the opening page of their web site they shamelessly brag that they “shape and draft” legislation:
Draft fucking legislation. Are you kidding me?
“Drafting, shaping, and monitoring legislation and federal regulations through direct lobbying and coordination with Congressional and Administration staff.”
Here’s what the Center for Public Integrity said about Larson Dodd:
“Larson was a health policy advisor to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, the chief sponsor of a Medicare bill that, six months later, would become law, with potentially tens of billions of dollars of windfall for the drug companies. Dodd is a former legislative director to Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, the fourth ranking Republican in the upper chamber.”
Larson Dodd is one of the preeminent Washington lobbying firms with a roster of lobbyists which reads like a who’s who of the Republican party. I urge you to poke around their web site, which may get sanitized before too long, and get angry.
Through firms like Larson Dodd, the pharmaceutical industry has leveraged its profits to achieve enormous influence in Congress. And, as we all know, the industry has close ties to the Bush administration. Public Citizen reported that, “Drugmakers and HMOs hired 952 individual [federal] lobbyists in 2003–nearly half of whom had `revolving door’ connections to Congress, the White House or the executive branch. That’s nearly 10 lobbyists for every US senator.” The Medicare Prescription Drug bill guarantees that the millions spent by big pharmaceutical companies lobbying will be handsomely paid back.
In addition to assuring the big pharmaceutical and insurance companies a profit windfall, the Medicare Reform Act also banned Medicare from either negotiating lower drug prices from these companies or re-importing drugs from Canada, where prescription drugs are on average 50 percent less expensive due to price controls.
The lobbyists who fund and control the politicians pushed for this disasterous program. By the way, people are now saying the D in Part D, stands for disaster. The lobbyists recognized allowing price-controlled Canadian drugs to be re-imported would impact on the only goal of Medicare Part D which was to secure a steady stream of mega profits for insurance companies and the pharmauceutical industry.
But senior citizens across America recognize this is a scam. As the Abramoff revelations start to trickle through the consciousness of the body politic, seniors will get another dose of reality. Like my neighbor said the other day, “George Bush doesn’t like me”, they’ll also undoubtedly think, George Bush wants me to die. This is why so many are refusing to be herded like sheep into bogus programs that they don’t understand and don’t trust.
Don’t be mislead folks. At the center of this toxic sewage dump sits the fool on the hill: George W. Bush. These are his people, his cronies, his supporters, his rangers and his pioneers.
They’re just doing his bidding.