Commentary Magazine


Topic: Families USA

The Party of Big Drug Companies

Ben Smith spots an ad from the drug companies’ lobby group, “in which the advocacy group Families USA and the drug lobby PhRMA — the latter the deep pockets behind much of media campaign for health care legislation — praise Sen. Harry Reid for his work on … jobs.” As Smith notes, it’s a big smooch for their favorite senator:

Though the ad makes a passing reference to health care, it’s basically the group’s way of saying “thank you” to Reid for pushing the health-care bill to passage.

This isn’t lobbying, technically, but from PhRMA’s perspective, it’s an interesting way to reward a powerful legislator for furthering your corporate interest.

Before the Democrats controlled the White House and Congress, they used to thunder about this sort of thing. Candidate Barack Obama promised to throw the lobbyists out and eliminate the special interests who undermined the “people’s business.” But instead, they rewarded and ensconced those special interests in legislation, and they in turn dearly want to reelect those that doled out the favors. This seems to be a significant weakness in the Democrats’ newest populist campaign rhetoric — they are the ones getting bouquets from insurance companies, banks, and big drug companies. They must think the public won’t notice.

Ben Smith spots an ad from the drug companies’ lobby group, “in which the advocacy group Families USA and the drug lobby PhRMA — the latter the deep pockets behind much of media campaign for health care legislation — praise Sen. Harry Reid for his work on … jobs.” As Smith notes, it’s a big smooch for their favorite senator:

Though the ad makes a passing reference to health care, it’s basically the group’s way of saying “thank you” to Reid for pushing the health-care bill to passage.

This isn’t lobbying, technically, but from PhRMA’s perspective, it’s an interesting way to reward a powerful legislator for furthering your corporate interest.

Before the Democrats controlled the White House and Congress, they used to thunder about this sort of thing. Candidate Barack Obama promised to throw the lobbyists out and eliminate the special interests who undermined the “people’s business.” But instead, they rewarded and ensconced those special interests in legislation, and they in turn dearly want to reelect those that doled out the favors. This seems to be a significant weakness in the Democrats’ newest populist campaign rhetoric — they are the ones getting bouquets from insurance companies, banks, and big drug companies. They must think the public won’t notice.

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