” But in politics, never assume rules are written simply with the public good in mind. 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 more comprehensive the drug coverage, the more expensive the premiums — thus the cancellation of many low-premium plans.
This wasn’t the only win for drugmakers in Obamacare, of course. The industry famously got a prime seat at the drafting table of Obamacare (and thus a slew of subsidies and favors) in exchange for millions of dollars in ads supporting the legislation — and ads backing the Democratic senators endangered by voting for it. For all the Big Pharma goodies the White House and Senate Democrats packed into the text of the bill, the industry got even more favors as HHS implemented the law.
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.”
The present structure of our governing body (congress) not only allows this kind of blatant corporate cronyism , it practically requires it . The quid pro quo between our “representatives” and big business is how the system has been wired by the players involved and so nothing that comes out of Washington these days is done with the actual voters in mind.We the taxpayers are being fed a line of bulls**t and getting taken for a ride , all in the name of corporate profits and politician’s re-elections .