Most who followed the “progress” of Obamacare through both houses of Congress are familiar with political payoffs such as the Cornhusker Deal, the Louisiana Purchase and other backroom shenanigans to win votes. If this is business as usual we are in big trouble as a country.
But almost 4 years after the year long snow job was pulled off on the American public it now appears the plot thickens.
Politico reports there is evidence Jim Messina, Obama’s campaign manager, may have cut deals on behalf of “big Pharma” to insure the passage of Obamacare.
A House Energy and Commerce Committee report out Tuesday is stocked with emails sent from private addresses and meetings scheduled away from the building to avoid official record. Among these are several sent to a pharmaceutical industry lobbyist by Messina, then President Barack Obama’s then-deputy White House chief of staff, making promises about language for the health care reforms despite the resistance of then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the measure.
“I will roll [P]elosi to get the 4 billion,” Messina wrote Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) lobbyist Jeffrey Forbes from his personal account just days before the Affordable Care Act cleared Congress in March 2010. “As you may have heard I am literally rolling over the house. But there just isn’t 8-10 billion.”
Ah yes, Mrs. Pelosi. The Speaker that famously declared “We have to pass the bill in order to know what was in it.”
Now perhaps we know why she said that.
She didn’t build that by herself . . .
“What we have learned from our many investigations is that, time and again, the Obama administration’s actions have failed to match the president’s lofty rhetoric on transparency,” Stearns said.
But then, it IS the Chicago way of politics.
After POLITICO published a story in February 2011 on meetings arranged at offices on Jackson Place near the White House, White House press secretary Jay Carney said “the guiding principle here is transparency, and we believe that — nobody is, that I’m aware of, is hiding where they’re meeting.”
“It is routine for the White House officials to meet with all types of people, including lobbyists, and frequently here,” Carney said. “The suggestion that we’re not being transparent is laughable given the unbelievable precedent this administration has set in its — closing the door, the revolving door, and releasing these records.”
Is this the same Carney that either did not know or refused to answer the direct question, “What is the capital of Israel”?
This is reminiscent of the infamous Watergate hearings and the staged memory loss of the participants.