Exactly as happened in 2000, and 2002 a late surge of money is coming to help Republicans from the PACs of New Jersey’s finest.
According to a report published Wednesday in the Wall Street Journal, drug-industry dollars are helping to fuel the campaigns of Republican candidates like embattled incumbent Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., who faces a tight race against Democratic challenger Bob Casey Jr., who calls the Part D program a “giveaway to Big Pharma.” The Santorum re-election bid has drawn $454,500 in contributions from pharmaceutical companies, WSJ said.Part D has drawn fire from Democrats in congressional races in part because it doesn’t permit the federal government to negotiate with drug companies on drug prices, and Democratic challengers have vowed to change that if elected, the report said.
While the concept of science-based companies backing Rick Santorum (the one who took his stillborn child home to meet his kids, and thinks that the earth is 6,000 years old) may be odd, it’s completely rational. Essentially now that there is a Medicare drug benefit, eventually price controls will be introduced. It’s in Pharma’s interest to delay that day as long as possible. Anyone can see that including big Pharma, who as Joe Paduda reminds us have seen profits rise with their volume now that Part D has cut in
However, it therefore exposes the whole McClellan/Ignagni line about how the private market in Medicare Part D has lowered drug costs more than direct negotiations would have done for the lie it is. After all, if Part D as written is so much worse for big Pharma than government negotiations/price controls, why would they be fighting so hard to protect it?