Big Pharma in your face

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Big Pharma in your face

My wife, a medical professional who steadfastly refuses any perquisites from the ubiquitous phar­miceutical representatives who insinuate themselves into her places of work by any means available, is on a rampage.

She was using Google to research the latest on "health care reform," and virtually every news link she followed took her to a page containing an institutional Pfizer advertisement.

(Institutional, or corporate, advertising is simply putting one's name or brand be­fore the public... it's image building.)

The sight of this very embodiment of evil Big Pharma sent her into a utter paroxysm of fury.

But this has been her default state over the past months, or since The One she supported with such optimism last year, back-slid on genuine remedial health care measures!

(Prudence has dictated that "told you so" be stricken from my connubial lexicon.)

There has been such a stream of unhappy com­muniqués from East Main to The White House that I half expect that the clatter on the lawn later this week won't be from a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer, but a squad of Secret Service field agents in full assault gear.

The decade of the '60s saw AT&T as the major collossus to be feared, and as we progressed, the Great Evil transmogrified into AOL/Time-Warner/TNT...the Justice Department while allowed that merger was in someone's pocket!

Yes, Microsoft assumed the role of world-dominating malevolent force for a time, but more recently Google has taken shown signs of posing the most danger.

And my wife is now certain that Big Pharma must have an undisclosed equity share in the omnipresent search engine.


1. Surf's Up! said...

Keep at 'em, Jeanne!

Not to worry... she is nothing if not tenacious.

2. Hunt Marckwald said...

My wife, Cathy, is also a registered health professional who shares Jeanne's outrage that a majority of television advertisements are brought to us by "Big Pharma." Aren't these the same bastards who wanted every menopausal woman put on hormones, now discovered to have had serious ill effects??

Probably... Madame will doubtless have much to say on the matter when she has a moment.

3. Ray Overton said...

Dean, I too would be caught with the "I told you so's." But quite honestly, I will save those for the two years after the new legislation actually has an impact on our way of life.

4. Jeanne Speir said...

It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings, Mr. Speir.

Just moving this big monster through the House and Senate was an act of our "I'm skinny but I'm strong" President Obama. It has been my observation over the past couple of years, when Obama was regularly written off, that he didn't show his cards until he was darned good and ready. He's also more of a middle-of-the-roader than either the Conservatives or Liberals would wish. I think the reconciliation of the House and Senate bills is where we'll see him enter the game. The guy is a Constitutional expert who respects that a government by the people and for the people has to do the job to forge this legislation, not the President.

Some of us really worry they get it "right" this time -- the public health option that many of us see as the competitive force to percolate the costs of insurance companies down to that of other industrialized nations is not in the Senate version. That lousy Medicare Part D legislation and "Advantage Plans" afforded the health care and drug companies their windfall profits last year, while the average enrolled Senior Citizen got zip, zero, for the extra money taken out of his Social Security checks. Like Seniors can afford it!

Our health care mess has been the gorilla in the room for nigh near two decades. We knew it was there, but now we have a mandate to move it. Like the banks who knocked the hell out of our pensions, ruined lives and destroyed our trust in the financial system, this entire "health" industry has gotten way too obese for its avaricious britches.

Pfizer has always irked me, and anyone who wishes to know why needs to find out, for instance, the ratio of marketing-to-research dollars they spend, when the patent on Lipitor expires (soon!), why it didn't expire already, and how many men (50%!) are not helped by Viagra@$10-12 a pill!

The Senate legislation certainly is not everything I want: I understand there is no effort to contain the monster adminstrative costs of health care – every TomDickHarry insurer has its own set of bloody rules and paper. Uniformity in a billing system would save billions of dollars over ten years. There is no mention of a badly needed electronic medical record to avoid the huge and very expensive duplication of services and time wasted that occurs today, nor does it mention some type of reasonable tort reform without giving away an individual's right to seek compensation if they are harmed by treatment or lack thereof.

Contrary to the blog's suggestion, my beef is not with the Executive Branch, but rather the Legislative arm. They know I'm from a "blue" state from the air around my correspondence of late!

As our Mayor would say, they need to grow some cajones and get this thing done right.

Um, thank you for the clarifications.

5. Matlynn Carville said...

When read aloud, the lines about "the clatter on the lawn later this week" are well-wrought, you clever wordsmith!

Thank you for noticing.

6. David Willmott, Jr. said...

It seems rather odd to me that someone would trumpet the prez's Constitutional knowledge cred when it comes to this current exercise in sausage-making and herding cats called Health Care Reform. Considering there is no Constitutional right to health care and it is unconstitutional to compel the purchase of health insurance. Obama's authorization through his proxy Rahm Emmauel to direct Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid to use bribery to buy Senator Ben Nelson's deciding vote by treating those citizens residing outside of Nebraska as less-than-equal is also unconstitutional. These are just top line Constitutional issues. The devil is really in the details that despite how much one absorbed of the opiate of The Chosen One's promises of transparency, you still cannot see.

Delicately put, David.

7. Jeanne Speir said...

I see the Willmott apple hasn't fallen far from the tree, has it? A case of "Why Not?" vs. "Oh Yes We Can!" You are right, the bag of cats we endearingly acknowledge as Democrats, scratch and claw their way to consensus. This is gut-wrenching, but it is transparent, isn't it? I like it far better than secret oil baron meetings before the Iraq invasion, and hearing about Ashcroft in pain on his hospital bed being pumped by Alberto Gonzales, and Patriot Acts....

I have no objection to the delay to date, to assure the sausage is being seasoned more carefully. But I do not want to procrasinate another year. Do I want young American families with cancer or diabetes or heart disease bankrupted or denied insurance because of a pre-existing condition? NO!

If we are older and laid off, where do we go for insurance? Wildly expensive Cobra payments for a year should be a perequisite to every bitter middle class bad-loser who hates OUR United States of America "Chosen One" (your silly, sad, old, sarcastic mantra.) Most Americans have no idea how much illness costs these days, having been insulated by an employer contribution never aknowleged by them as part of their employment compensation – it's killing some businesses right now – which is why our premiums and co-pays are risng. Noticed any difference in your disposable income, Dave? I have.

American Health Care is broken; it's needed fixing for DECADES.

I want our legislators off their privileged petards to work and think and compromise to provide some meaningful reform to a morbidly obese, wasteful, redundant, GREEDY, dirty business.

Dave, why should the average American annually pay over $6000 for their bad health insurance (internationally we are ranked 37th) when we truly can receive superb health care for $4000 per person?

God Bless Al Gore and the Internet!

It is clear Mr. Willmott Jr., in his zealous bitterness over truly transparent sausage-making, has not fact checked the total population of Nebraska. It's barely more than that of Suffolk County, Dave! While you're there, look up their Medicaid expenditures, too.

Modest is a good word. There's no one there to USE it.

It's big hostile country out there; I do not forecast a mass exodus of Americans seeking entitlement programs migrating to Nebraska in the foreseeable future.

If it helped forge consensus, I'd send Dick Cheney, that criminal, out there to tweak the vote.

I see you seem to have a direct line to the workings of this White House by your knowledge of who proxy'd what and when. Gimme a break!

No one ever said sausage-making was pretty, but in this case America is getting a bargain. If we let the sausage sit we'll get food poisoning.

I'd start in on John McCain's mottled past and major Arizona manufacturers (War is GOOD to Arizona!) or Sarah Palin's clear command of the Constitution, but hey, it's Christmas Eve, and the Senate passed their version.

Let's HOPE the two can come up with a real workable bill to save our economy and ourselves.

No hard feelings.
Merry Christmas.

"No hard feelings?" Sure doesn't sound like it!

You don't get a "Yes, dear" on this one, toots!
  1. "Secret oil baron meetings?!?" Did I actually marry you? You're demanding that David give you "a break," and what's one of the first things you do? Trot out some social liberal clattrap nightmare. With that alone you've abandoned any meaningful attempt at a dialogue!
  2. Exactly where do you think "Chosen One" came from? (Hint: see this clip, in his own words.) I mean, what exactly do you think he was encouraging? It was his mantra!

    Think it's "silly, sad and old?" Take it up with him! (And I have all I can do to keep from capitalizing the masculine pronouns!)
  3. Your rhetoric ("Dick Cheney, that criminal") reveals you're still stuck in mid-decade instead of "moving on" [shudder!]. Your son was not drafted and sent to Iraq to spill his blood for oil, so get on with it, and dial it down or you'll find a lump of coal in your carefully-hung Christmas panty-hose tomorrow morning.
Merry Christmas to the Houses of Wilmott from the (divided) House of Speir.

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