Big Pharma does not need tax cuts, just reality check
During the huge debate over health care reform, the Obama administration cut a deal with the pharmaceutical companies that would cut expected costs for prescription drugs for seniors and other taxpayers by roughly 80 billion dollars. On the surface, that does not sound like a bad thing.
However, when faced with further scrutiny, it starts to look like a stinker. In return for agreeing to these cuts, Big Pharma wrangled a promise from the White House to oppose any and all future efforts by Congress to either use their influence to drive down prescription drug costs or to import cheaper drugs from Canada.
In addition, while Big Pharma has agreed to these substantial cuts, they have firmly rejected cutting more than their promised $80 billion. So, cuts to drug costs are fine, but only if they come on the pharmaceutical companies’ terms, and only cut by the amount that those companies are comfortable with. That is a bitter pill for the American taxpayer to be forced to swallow, especially those who are forced to rely on these companies’ products for their continued health and well-being.
It is not as if these companies are hurting for cash, either; in fact, Big Pharma is doing better than ever. Last year, over $300 billion was spent on prescription drugs alone in this country, and pharmaceutical profits over the past few years have either held steady or increased.
When he was elected, President Obama not only promised massive health-care reform, but said that reform would be transparent. The details of this deal seem to indicate that the process was anything but transparent; what we know of this deal comes not from a White House release, but from a White House staffer close enough to the negotiations to have an internally circulated memo detailing just what Big Pharma and the White House got and gave up in their closed-door negotiations.
This staffer then leaked the memo to a health-care lobbyist in Washington. When the memo was leaked, both the White House and pharmaceutical reps tried to cover their tracks with tactics such as attacking the credibility of the source or flat-out denying that a deal was made. The President is, at the very least, breaking one of his core campaign promises in how he has dealt with this situation; this cloak-and-dagger way of getting things done is something we might have expected from our last President, something that many of us hoped this President would avoid.
Speaking of President Bush, it is also worth noting that a similar deal was made under his administration, when Bush and the Republicans were working on legislation for Medicare’s coverage of new drug purchases. At the time, Democrats in Congress dismissed it as both corrupt and wasteful. Given that Obama’s acts seem to directly contravene several of his campaign promises, it comes off even worse than the Bush-era deal. Obama ought to serve his electors, rather than profit-hungry corporations.
Drug companies need tax cuts to keep prices low, medicine cheap
Complain, complain, complain. It seems this is all the people of America are capable of doing. Somebody else gets a tax cut, and the citizens of the state complain that they want wider-spread breaks. Breaks for everybody would be fantastic, would they not? Well, that is not the way this nation works. Tax breaks are given to those who truly need them in this nation, not those who manage to get by just fine on their own.
In this particular case, Obama’s administration is giving a tax cut to the big drug companies of the nation. For some reason, American citizens are, as usual, taking offense to this. Think about it, people: the drug companies provide the medications which millions of Americans rely upon on a daily basis. They also operate in debt most of the time, and thus, are sometimes incapable of providing the services the nation requires.
Giving tax breaks to drug companies will allow the prices of essential medications to drop dramatically, which will then lead to further availability of services such as Medicare and Medicaid to the citizens of this fine nation. So, why do citizens continue complaining about tax cuts to large corporations such as this?
The citizens of the United States simply seem to believe that everything ought to be given to them for free, and that large corporations deserve to pay the price for any complication which arises. Frankly, not all the problems of the United States are the responsibility of the corporations, nor are they responsibility of the rich. They are problems which involve the entire nation, and sometimes, it is essential for the “common man” to pay his debt to the nation, as well, and allow the larger, more well-off to have a break so that essential services can continue to be provided at affordable prices.
Obama understands this, and thus, his administration has decided to supply a tax break to the drug companies which provide healthcare options to the meek, to those incapable of buying these benefits by themselves. Sometimes, to help the greater good, it is essential to go outside the realm of approval from the citizens. The citizens of any nation can be wrong about what is in their best interest, and this is just as true for America as any other.
If Americans are truly angered by this, perhaps they should provide a better alternative to providing a tax cut to the drug companies. Rather than simply complaining, perhaps American citizens should attempt to make true changes, those which would allow the world they wish to live in to truly exist. Obama and his administration are simply doing what they deem best in order to guarantee that drug companies in this country do not suffer from complete and utter financial collapse, so that Americans can continue being given health benefits.