Misdirection Plays in Health Care

Nothing like a press release picked up by Yahoo and then by Google News to get out the word!!

The title–Emerging Majority’s Health Is Being Ignored: Foundation Questions Value of Government Negotiation of Drug Prices. The article questions the effectiveness of the Medicare drug plan (Medicare D) based on the restriction of choice–see position paper here.

This nice bit of obfuscation is from the National Minority Health Month Foundation (which is in the process of changing its name to The National Minority Quality Forum). Given that most see Medicare D, while not perfect, as a net positive in providing seniors and by inference “minorities” more affordable medication, the Foundation’s analysis seems medicynical.

One of our themes has been conflicts of interest in health care. It therefore came as no big surprise that the National Minority Health Month Foundation’s “leadership” includes Newt Gingrich, J.C. Watts and the following list of health care companies–for the most part pharmaceutical companies that long opposed Medicare sponsored drug plan (Part D) for seniors and now oppose negotiating prices with drug companies:

Sponsors of the Summit , included: American Medical Association, Abbott Laboratories, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly and Company, Kaiser Permanente, McKesson Health Solutions, Medco Health Solutions, Merck & Co., Ortho Biotech, Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Roche, and Sanofi-Aventis.”

And from the same organization Sponsor list…”Special Thanks to our Sponsors–Abbott Laboratories, American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, Amgen, AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly & Company, Hoffmann-La Roche Inc., Sanofi-Aventis, U.S. Boehringer Ingelheim”

As the health care debate unfolds we need to critically analyze news and it’s sources. In this case the sponsors of National Minority Health Month Foundation opposed Medicare D from the start and have not favored progressive change in our health care non-system. The Foundation’s position paper, not surprisingly, reflects these biases and appears more representative of the sponsors than the minority citizens it purports to represent.

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