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Monday, November 4, 2013

ObamaCare--Crony Capitalism At Its Worst

The Washington Examiner looks into some of the corporate interests that help ObamaCare and its regulations. 

... Almost always, the rules ended up how they ended up because special interests with insider access were able to tweak them. So it is with the coverage that Obamacare mandates. 
HHS's first proposed rule on prescription drug coverage required insurers to cover at least one drug in every class of drug — in short, one drug for cholesterol, one drug for epilepsy, etc. Drugmakers wanted more. Led by the lobby group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the industry argued that HHS should require all insurers to not only cover one drug per class, but also to match the benchmark plan in their state.
And Big Pharma won. HHS’s final rule, issued in late November 2012, required all plans to cover “the greater of” one drug per class or whatever the state’s benchmark plan covers.
 
So if your insurance plan met state mandates and covered one or more drug per class, it still might be illegal if it didn’t cover as much as the “benchmark” insurance plan. PhRMA and its member companies like Eli Lilly and Pfizer care about this in part because more bare-bones prescription drug plans may cover only generic drugs and not the more costly name brand drugs covered by the benchmark plans.
The story goes on to describe the lobbying effort to make each and every plan cover birth control--another big win for the big pharmaceutical industry.

The drug industry spent more on lobbying in 2009 and 2010 than any other industry. Sally Susman, who oversaw Pfizer’s lobbying shop, was a top Obama bundler in 2008 and 2012. After the law passed, drug companies hired up plenty of the staffers who shaped the bill from both Congress and the White House. 
So the more-comprehensive, more-expensive insurance Obama is forcing you to buy may or may not be better for you. But it's certainly better for the drugmakers.

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