Health Lobbyists Gear up to Oppose Baucus Plan, But not Drugmakers

September 17, 2009

(ChattahBox)—Senate Finance Committee chairman, Max Baucus (D-MT) finally released his long-awaited health care reform plan on Wednesday, without a public option and provisions that left some health industries howling, but others pleased. The proposal calls for the levying of annual fees on health care companies to fund the costs of paying for the uninsured.

The pharmaceutical industry and hospitals came forward earlier in the year, to voluntarily agree to concessions, to do its part to contribute towards the massive overhaul of the nation’s broken health care system.

The industries that declined to participate are now up-in-arms over the proposal and plan to unleash a lobbying blitz to oppose it. Medical device makers and clinical laboratories are the most vocal in their opposition to the plan, saying the surcharges would threaten jobs, innovation, raise costs and threaten the health of patients.

The health industry fee would be implemented based on market shares for a period of least 10 years, for a total of $130.5 billion.

Health insurance providers would be charged $6 billion per year; medical device makers at $4 billion and clinical laboratories would pay $750 million. The pharmaceutical industry already agreed to the $2.3 billion annual fee imposed on the drugmakers.

Health insurance companies indicated they would eventually pass on the costs to consumers.

The drugmakers received concessions for their voluntary compliance with the health care overhaul. The bill would not force rebates from drugmakers for the higher cost of drugs paid by patients who qualify for both Medicaid and Medicare. Also, cheaper drugs from Canada are not mentioned in the plan.

Meanwhile, as industries, like labs and device makers rush to increase their opposition lobbying efforts, the pharmaceutical industry is poised to launch a media campaign supporting the Baucus plan.



2 Responses to “Health Lobbyists Gear up to Oppose Baucus Plan, But not Drugmakers”

  1. aaroncrowe on September 17th, 2009 6:16 pm

    Yes, wasn’t that the plan to begin with…it was to distribute all the wealth of the rich..and you know, Hollywood people have all their lawyers so they don’t get hitched (pay high taxes) so who is left, we, the middle class…so then we barely make it…Well, we can think who??? You guess!!! Tax increase by our lovely government. Thanks a lot.

  2. Constant Gina on September 17th, 2009 11:52 pm

    This is an emotional issue for many Americans. Obama’s health-care promises are being exposed by the details of the actual legislation, and we WILL see costs rise.

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