Obamacare Backroom Pharma deals exposed

New documents reveal that the Obama administration colluded with drug companies to lead a public relations campaign to build support for Obamacare in exchange for a multi-billion dollar tax break.

Bloomberg Businessweek reports that Republicans have released documents revealing a group of pharmaceutical companies led by Pfizer "agreed to run a ‘very significant public campaign’ bankrolling political support for the 2010 health-care law," if the administration would block bills disapproved of by drug companies:

The internal memos and e-mails for the first time unveil the industry's plan to finance positive TV ads and supportive groups, along with providing $80 billion in discounts and taxes that were included in the law. The administration has previously denied the existence of a deal involving political support. …

"As part of our agreement, PhRMA needs to undertake a very significant public campaign in order to support policies of mutual interest to the industry and the Administration," according to a July 14, 2009, memo from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. "We have included a significant amount for advertising to express appreciation for lawmakers’ positions on health care reform issues."

The goal, the memo said, was to "create momentum for consensus health care reform, help it pass, and then acknowledge those senators and representatives who were instrumental in making it happen and who must remain vigilant during implementation."

House Republicans are investigating the conduct of the Obama administration in the months leading up to Obamacare’s passage. If the allegations prove true, the White House could find itself facing ethics and corruption charges. The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the constitutionality of the law later this month.