Video: Ralph Nader on Secret White House Agreements with the Drug Industry

August 14th, 2009

(DemocracyNow) – “You Don’t Cut Deals with the System that Has to Be Replaced”

Video Link @ Democracy Now – Click Here

The Obama administration admitted last week it promised to oppose proposals to let the government negotiate drug prices and extract additional savings from drug companies. In return, drug companies reportedly pledged to reduce costs by up to $80 billion. The White House has tried to back off the reported agreements, but the drug industry says it expects the White House to uphold its pledge. We speak to former presidential candidate and longtime consumer advocate Ralph Nader.

President Obama is headed to Belgrade, Montana today and Grand Junction, Colorado tomorrow for a pair of town hall meetings on his healthcare reform legislation. The meetings are part of a final public relations push by the president to answer critics of reforming the healthcare system before the Obamas go on vacation.

While much of the media coverage has focused on right-wing criticism of the bill, there is also growing concern by advocates of reform that the Obama administration has secretly made concessions to the healthcare industry and pharmaceutical industry.

A recent article in Business Week was titled “The Health Insurers Have Already Won.” The piece details how UnitedHealth and rival carriers have maneuvered behind the scenes in Washington and shaped health-care reform for their own benefit.

Meanwhile the Huffington Post has obtained a memo that shows the White House and the pharmaceutical lobby have secretly agreed to precisely the sort of wide-ranging deal that both parties have been denying over the past week.

The memo says the White House agreed to oppose any congressional efforts to use the government’s leverage to bargain for lower drug prices or import drugs from Canada—and also agreed not to pursue Medicare rebates or shift some drugs from Medicare Part B to Medicare Part D, which would cost Big Pharma billions in reduced reimbursements.

In exchange, PhRMA, the Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers Association agreed to cut $80 billion in projected costs to taxpayers and senior citizens over ten years.

On Thursday NBC reporter Chuck Todd questioned White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs about the White House-PhRMA deal.

To talk more about the healthcare legislation we are joined by former presidential candidate and longtime consumer advocate Ralph Nader.

Ralph Nader, longtime consumer advocate, corporate critic and former presidential candidate.

2 Responses to “Video: Ralph Nader on Secret White House Agreements with the Drug Industry”

  1. Bifurcatio Says:

    There is some sense to not being able to get a lung transplant if you are still smoking. Is there any sense to not being able to get $thousands for meds if you are a Coke drinking, Twinkie eating couch potato?

    I’m trying to picture, too, Daniel Boone or Davy Crockett screaming for health care when they’ve been bitten in the ankle by a raccoon out in the woods.

    No to the ‘nanny state’!

  2. udrfraud Says:


    Reported by UDR Fraud at For more information, contact Beatty Hanslinger at

    As if they didn’t have enough problems with their current portfolio of properties, now the downtrodden Colorado-based residential REIT / Landlord, UDR, Inc., is partnering with Abdulnasser Abdulmuhsen Al-Subeih and Ali Al-Ghannam, executive of Islamic lender Kuwait Finance House to acquire high income residential real estate in major cities in the United States with total investments of up to $450 million.

    Gulf Arab investors are targeting the United States real estate market after making initial investments in the late 1990s, but pulling out prior to the financial crisis. They now hope to return to American real estate market targeting “A” class assets with a minimum of $20 million that are less than seven years old.

    But why UDR? The 50,000 apartment homes UDR already owns are in such tragic disrepair and 30% of UDR’s revenues are going to hit a skid with the pending class action lawsuit in California. UDR Chief Executive Officer, Thomas W. Toomey, must not be providing full disclosure or else Al-Subeih and Al-Ghannam doesn’t understand the value of thorough due diligence.

    Let’s just wait and watch. Should be interesting. So much for the red, white and blue spirit that seems to have been the cornerstone of UDR’s history. It puts an interesting spin on UDR’s tagline, “Opening Doors to the Future.” God bless America.

    See Reuter’s report:

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