Another New York Times story from Friday that's well worth reading is this one on Big Pharma's rather spectacularly successful efforts to keep any government price controls out of legislation providing prescription drug benefits for seniors. And, gee, guess which of the two major parties was key to Pharma's victory?
In a letter dated April 9, 1999, Jim Nicholson, then the Republican National Committee chairman, wrote to Charles A. Heimbold Jr., then the chief executive of Bristol-Myers, to discuss plans for a coalition to lobby for issues important to drug companies.
"We must keep the lines of communication open if we want to continue passing legislation that will benefit your industry," Mr. Nicholson wrote in the letter....
Like that one? Here's another:
...when Mr. Bush won the election, the drug makers celebrated. As one industry executive said, "There were a lot of high-fives around here."
"Having both houses of Congress Republican-controlled was great," one drug lobbyist said. "Like in Monopoly, when you get to add hotels."
But read the whole story, and get mad.