Alas, the pharmaceutical industry appears to have completed its switch to the Dark Side. Not only is it supporting a government takeover of health care, but it is sacrificing its one-time allies. Reports the New York Times:
Dick Armey, the former House Republican leader, has quit his job with the lobbying firm DLA Piper amid complaints from its drug company clients about his work opposing President Obama‘s health care overhaul.
His departure is the latest example of the confusing entanglements arising from the health care debate.
To review the facts of this case: the drug companies who helped defeat the Clinton administration health care effort 15 years ago have now turned on Mr. Armey, who then was one of their most important Congressional allies. Now, having cut a deal with this administration to limit their share of the costs, the drug companies are on the other side. Foreseeing new profits from the expansion of health coverage, they are spending as much as $150 million on advertisements to support the president’s plan.
To their embarrassment, however, Mr. Armey has continued to oppose the plan as the chairman of the independent conservative group FreedomWorks. The group has helped turn out rowdy demonstrators at town-hall-style meetings with lawmakers around the country. And some liberal Web sites began connecting Mr. Armey’s fight against the health care legislation to his other work for DLA Piper’s drug company clients.
Government subversion of industry is not new with this particular battle. But it is another reason to redouble efforts to stop this attempt to turn even more decisions involving Americans’ health care over to government.
And kudos to Dick Armey for standing firm.
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