Meanwhile, the entertainment industry, one of President Obama's biggest campaign support systems, is backing Obama's socialized medicine to the hilt. Again, this makes little sense on the surface -- members of the entertainment industry generally receive great benefits through their guilds already. But it begins to make more sense when the payoff becomes more explicit: The White House and Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) are coercing pharmaceutical companies into buying advertising time. According to the Associated Press and The New York Times, the White House and congressional leaders have promised to limit tax and fee exposure for drug companies, so long as the drug companies spend $100 million out of pocket on pro-health insurance bill advertising. In essence, the government has extorted drug companies to bankroll the mass media.
In case anyone was still sophomoric enough to believe Democrats' pledge that the health care bill is about improving health care, Congress and the White House have consistently opposed the easiest method for lowering health care costs: limiting malpractice lawsuits. According to the Congressional Budget Office, preventing frivolous malpractice lawsuits and lowering pain and suffering judgments could say at least $41 billion over the next 10 years. Yet Congress has stalled such a measure several times.
To add another incentive for plaintiffs' lawyers to jump on board, the Obama Justice Department recently came out against the continued antitrust exemption for health insurance companies. Getting rid of the exemption, enacted in 1945, would "allow competition to have a greater role in reforming health and medical malpractice insurance markets than would otherwise be the case," explained Assistant Attorney General Christine Varney. There are already laws on the books that prevent price fixing -- even price fixing agreements to lower prices in order to comply with government mandates (both Presidents Carter and Clinton threatened to prosecute insurance companies for fixing prices too low in order to prevent the government from using high prices as an excuse to nationalize insurance). So what is this really about? It's a green light for lawyers to attack insurance companies.
We have yet to see a bill from the Democratic Congress or the Obama White House that is not actually a payoff to a key constituency. The tsunami of dollars unleashed by the Obama Treasury Department in coordination with the Fed has obscured the fact that many of those dollars are ending up in the pockets of Friends of Obama or Friends of Nancy or Friends of Harry. Before the American people sign off on any more spending, they must know beyond a reasonable doubt that such spending isn't merely another symptom of "honest politicians" staying bought.
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