Saturday, March 27, 2010
Obama gives sugar plums to the special interests
"Tonight," President Obama intoned near midnight Sunday, after the House had passed two health care bills, "we pushed back on the undue influence of special interests. ... We proved that this government -- a government of the people and by the people -- still works for the people."
But even before the president spoke, the Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America -- whose $26.1 million lobbying effort in 2009 was the most expensive by any industry lobby in history -- hailed the health package as "important and historic."
The second-biggest industry lobby in America, the American Medical Association, also cheered, as did the American Hospital Association, the No. 5 industry lobby. Throw in the goliath senior lobby AARP and Beltway powerhouse General Electric, and you realize Obama's underdog tale is all bark and no bite.
The health care bill Obama signed into law Tuesday is a triumph for the special interests. It will benefit the biggest businesses, and by injecting more government into the economy, it will permanently stimulate K Street.
Yet all along Obama has claimed the opposite. ...