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Health Care Industry Reminds Democrats Mercenaries Are Only in It for the Money

photo: stevendepolo via Flickr

During the health care fight, the Obama administration would probably have benefited from having a military historian as an adviser. Even a cursory study of military history will show you the important role played for centuries by mercenaries—and it will show you their limitations. There are two critical things to keep in mind when thinking about mercenaries. The first and most important is that they are in it for the money. They are not fighting for ideology, religion, the crown or their motherland. They are in it for the money. The second thing is a dead mercenary can’t collect his pay nor can a defeated nation pay their salary. You simply can’t pay a mercenary to take part in what seems like a suicide mission, you can’t rely on their support if they no longer think you can pay, and they are only loyal as long as the other side doesn’t offer a better deal.

Perhaps Obama’s administration would be better off today if they had kept this in mind when they foolishly thought they could buy the support of the health industries as part of their backroom health care deals. From Politico, we learn the private health care interests that cut sweetheart deals with Democrats haven’t stayed loyal.

A new portrait of the health industry landscape has begun to take shape, with some of those major players shifting their dollars from the very Democrats who passed the law they seemingly endorsed at the White House.

. . . .

Health professionals, bolting from the American Medical Association’s pro-reform position, have become the strongest supporters of the Tea Party Caucus, a coalition of conservative House members aligned with the movement born from a visceral rejection of the law.

Drugmakers, which invested millions in television advertising last spring and summer to promote passage of the bill, are sitting on their wallets in the run-up to the November elections.

This was just way too predictable. In 2003, Republicans basically tried to buy the support of the health care industry, specifically drug makers, with their massive corporate giveaway in the form of Medicare Part D. Democrats directly campaigned against these deals in 2006 and 2008.

Yet, when Democrats took power, all this was forgotten. The drug makers were more than prepared to abandon their traditional GOP allies in exchange for Obama promising to protect and expand their hugely profitable deals. In an act of collective, Rahm Emanuel-endorsed foolishness, the administration actually thought they could buy drug makers’ loyalty right after they proved their highest bidder “loyalty” by abandoning the GOP.

Now, Democrats face a tough election and might lose control of one or both houses of Congress, and, not surprisingly, the drug makers have abandoned them. [cont’d.]

Such is the nature of a mercenary. They are in it for the money and will switch their alliance to which ever side can pay better. You can buy their temporary utility, but not their undying loyalty when the going gets tough.

This is something the Democratic administration should have kept in mind when they betrayed their true allies in the health care fight (by dropping the public option and drug re-importation) in a failed attempt to buy corporate support. They are now left with a deeply unpopular health care law that does too little and fails to excite the base, while the corporate mercenaries have abandoned what looks like a losing battle.

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Health Care Industry Reminds Democrats Mercenaries Are Only in It for the Money

During the health care fight, the Obama administration would probably have benefited from having a military historian as an adviser. Even a cursory study of military history will show you the important role played for centuries by mercenaries—and it will show you their limitations. There are two critical things to keep in mind when thinking about mercenaries. The first and most important is that they are in it for the money. They are not fighting for ideology, religion, the crown or their motherland. They are in it for the money. The second thing is a dead mercenary can’t collect his pay nor can a defeated nation pay their salary. You simply can’t pay a mercenary to take part in what seems like a suicide mission, you can’t rely on their support if they no longer think you can pay, and they are only loyal as long as the other side doesn’t offer a better deal.

Perhaps Obama’s administration would be better off today if they had kept this in mind when they foolishly thought they could buy the support of the health industries as part of their backroom health care deals. From Politico, we learn the private health care interests that cut sweetheart deals with Democrats haven’t stayed loyal.

A new portrait of the health industry landscape has begun to take shape, with some of those major players shifting their dollars from the very Democrats who passed the law they seemingly endorsed at the White House.

. . . .

Health professionals, bolting from the American Medical Association’s pro-reform position, have become the strongest supporters of the Tea Party Caucus, a coalition of conservative House members aligned with the movement born from a visceral rejection of the law.

Drugmakers, which invested millions in television advertising last spring and summer to promote passage of the bill, are sitting on their wallets in the run-up to the November elections.

This was just way too predictable. In 2003, Republicans basically tried to buy the support of the health care industry, specifically drug makers, with their massive corporate giveaway in the form of Medicare Part D. Democrats directly campaigned against these deals in 2006 and 2008.

Yet, when Democrats took power, all this was forgotten. The drug makers were more than prepared to abandon their traditional GOP allies in exchange for Obama promising to protect and expand their hugely profitable deals. In an act of collective, Rahm Emanuel-endorsed foolishness, the administration actually thought they could buy drug makers’ loyalty right after they proved their highest bidder “loyalty” by abandoning the GOP.

Now, Democrats face a tough election and might lose control of one or both houses of Congress, and, not surprisingly, the drug makers have abandoned them.

Such is the nature of a mercenary. They are in it for the money and will switch their alliance to which ever side can pay better. You can buy their temporary utility, but not their undying loyalty when the going gets tough.

This is something the Democratic administration should have kept in mind when they betrayed their true allies in the health care fight (by dropping the public option and drug re-importation) in a failed attempt to buy corporate support. They are now left with a deeply unpopular health care law that does too little and fails to excite the base, while the corporate mercenaries have abandoned what looks like a losing battle.

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at http://pendinghorizon.com