Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Fwd: qotd: Will Liz Fowler determine the drugs you can have?

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-------- Original Message --------
Subject: qotd: Will Liz Fowler determine the drugs you can have?
Date: Wed, 5 Dec 2012 14:04:52 -0800
From: Don McCanne <>
To: Quote-of-the-Day <>

The Hill
December 4, 2012
Analysis finds big state-by-state swings in prescription coverage
By Sam Baker

President Obama's signature healthcare law requires insurance plans to
cover a range of prescription drugs, but the number of drugs covered
will vary widely from state to state, according to a new analysis from
Avalere Health.

Based on its analysis of state benchmark plans, Avalere said some states
cover as little as 45 percent of available drugs, while others cover
more than 99 percent.

"This means that ... linking drug coverage to the benchmark formulary
will result in drastically different coverage requirements
state-to-state," Avalere said.

Map of state variations in number of drugs covered:


The Guardian
December 5, 2012
Obamacare architect leaves White House for pharmaceutical industry job
By Glenn Greenwald

When the legislation that became known as "Obamacare" was first drafted,
the key legislator was the Democratic Chairman of the Senate Finance
Committee, Max Baucus, whose committee took the lead in drafting the
legislation. As Baucus himself repeatedly boasted, the architect of that
legislation was Elizabeth Folwer, his chief health policy counsel;
indeed, as Marcy Wheeler discovered, it was Fowler who actually drafted it.

What was most amazing about all of that was that, before joining Baucus'
office as the point person for the health care bill, Fowler was the Vice
President for Public Policy and External Affairs (i.e. informal
lobbying) at WellPoint, the nation's largest health insurance provider
(before going to WellPoint, as well as after, Folwer had worked as
Baucus' top health care aide).

More amazingly still, when the Obama White House needed someone to
oversee implementation of Obamacare after the bill passed, it chose ...
Liz Fowler.

Now, as Politico's "Influence" column briefly noted on Tuesday, Fowler
is once again passing through the deeply corrupting revolving door as
she leaves the Obama administration to return to the loving and
lucrative arms of the private health care industry: "Elizabeth Fowler is
leaving the White House for a senior-level position leading 'global
health policy' at (pharmaceutical giant) Johnson & Johnson's government
affairs and policy group."

It's difficult to find someone who embodies the sleazy, anti-democratic,
corporatist revolving door that greases Washington as shamelessly and
purely as Liz Fowler.

Comment: A well designed, national, single payer financing system would
ensure that everyone would receive whatever appropriate drugs they might
need. Instead, we have an inefficient, fragmented, costly financing
system that imposes regulatory and financial barriers in the way of many
needed medications, in a manner inconsistent from state to state.

Congress and the President could have consulted with those fine folks at
Physicians for a National Health Program, and then we would have a
system that serves the needs of patients. Instead, they consulted a
"sleazy, anti-democratic, corporatist," Liz Fowler, who orchestrated a
program that instead primarily serves the needs of the insurance and
pharmaceutical industries. She had previously played a key role in the
2003 Medicare Prescription Drug Act (MMA), a program that prohibits
government contracting for drugs under Part D of Medicare. She entered
the revolving door as a pawn of the insurance industry and departs as a
pawn of the pharmaceutical industry - the very industries for which she
wrote the legislation.


We can change it.

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