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More details emerge in Obama's secret dealings with Big Pharma during health care overhaul

Wednesday, May 23, 2012 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: Obamacare, Big Pharma, health care

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(NaturalNews) The bipartisan Congressional committee currently investigating the secret dealings between the Obama administration and Big Pharma prior to the passage of the massive health care overhaul is set to release pertinent new details as to what these dealings entailed. In a recent memorandum, the committee unveils the names of some of the key figures involved with these secret negotiations, and promises to release even more shocking details in the coming weeks.

Addressed specifically to the Republican members of the Energy and Commerce Committee, the memo explains a little bit more about how the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), a powerful lobbying group that represents the drug and biotechnology industries, colluded with the federal government to make the terms of Obamacare as favorable to drug companies as possible. Both the federal government and PhRMA secretly agreed to abide by certain undisclosed commitments to one another as part of the passage of the bill, the details of which largely remain hidden from public view.

"In the coming weeks the Committee intends to show what the White House agreed to do as part of its deal with the pharmaceutical industry and how the full details of this agreement were kept from both the public and the House of Representatives," wrote members of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations in their memo.

"The investigation has determined that the White House, primarily through Office of Health Reform Director Nancy Ann DeParle and (Jim) Messina, with involvement from Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel, was actively engaged in these negotiations while the role of Congress was limited."

A private email sent by Jim Messina, for instance, then Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations to the White House, to a PhRMA lobbyist back on January 15, 2010, exposed the fact that the White House had made a secret "deal" with this group. In Messina's own words, PhRMA had apparently done something that "wasn't part of our deal," which had upset the White House at the time.

Obama directly involved in PhRMA negotiations, despite having told public Senate was involved

While many people are aware of the fact that dealings were, in fact, made between the drug industry and the government over the terms of Obamacare, it is widely assumed that the U.S. Senate forged a final agreement -- this is, of course, what Obama had claimed at the time. But these new revelations expose the fact that key White House figures were actively involved in placating the demands of Big Pharma, albeit behind the scenes, while crafting the bill.

Former OHR Director Nancy Ann DeParle admitted in another uncovered email that the White House had deliberately excluded the House of Representatives in the negotiation process. And many members of Congress, as we now know, admittedly did not even know what was in the final 2,700-page bill because they did not get a chance to read it before it was quickly rushed through and passed (http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0312/74601.html).

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