Arnold Kling  

One-Party State Watch

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Mark Thoma highlights a story that I had missed--a bargain between the pharmaceutical industry and the Obama Administration on health care reform.

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COMMENTS (6 to date)
Paul Zrimsek writes:

Poor Thoma! Just as he should be waking up refreshed from his long nap during the auto bailout, the drug companies have to go and spoil everything by inventing rent-seeking.

Joey Donuts writes:

Has "rent seeking" become the economist's euphemism for Fascism?

E. Barandiaran writes:

Why would the drug companies trust that Obama will deliver his part of the agreement (think what has already happened with most of his promises)? Frankly, if indeed there is an agreement, there must be something else.

Granite26 writes:

I'll never understand how this is a failure of democracy. Big Pharm has no power that dumb voters don't give it. Fixing anything but the leaky dumb voters is a poorly applied patch.

I think people love on democracy so hard, that they are forced to think of anyone who exploits it's failings as destroying democracy itself.

Freedom Thinker writes:

Interesting and written by Robert Reich, too!

Eric H writes:

I think this is great news. It could mean Obama's coalition is crumbling.

From what I understand of "Hillary Care" from Christopher Hitchens' No One Left To Lie To, coziness with big insurance providers was a factor in undermining "progressive" support for the plan.

A quote, from page 51 of that book, from Patrick Woodall of Public Citizen:

"The managed competition-style plan the Clintons have chosen virtually guarantees that the five largest health-insurance companies--Aetna, Prudential, Met Life, Cigna, and The Travelers--will run the show in the health-care system."

I don't think Hitchens is the keenest economic observer, but he was right to be alarmed by the ease with which the Clintons cozied up to Big Insurance. It's strangely satisfying to hear such concessions made by the Obama. Maybe the news will disabuse progressives of their belief in his purity and infallibility.

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