[U] “Swamp: Fear Not, Thy Depths Shall Not Be… Drained” Dept. — Merck Hires HHS Sec. Dr. Price’s Former Chief Of Staff — To Lobbyist Slot

Ahem. Well. So much for “draining that swamp,” right? [Update: My counter tells me this is post number 4,200 on this site.]

Despite 45’s various pledges about getting tough on pharma pricing — it turns out that all the usual suspects are now all hiring as a lobbyist, the firm that houses the former chief of staff to HHS Secretary Price (Trump’s main man!) — to lobby on reimbursement issues, among other topics.

This is why federal disclosure laws are so critical: at least we the people may see what is being done, in our name.

Moreover, this is but one tiny example — proving a general narrative — 45 is a. . . fraud. This junk is rolling out, all over DC.

And to be clear, Merck is just playing the game in the usual smart way. No dart thrown, here — or at Amgen or PhRMA — they’d be fools not to have this guy as their mouth piece in DC. And I am sure he’s a very capable ethical advocate. It is just an endless revolving door game, in truth. . . .

From the LD-1 Kenilworth had filed last month, then:

. . . .Matt McGinley — Covered Positions: Chief of Staff, Rep. Tom Price; Chief of Staff, Republican Policy Committee; DCOS & LD, Rep. Brian Kerns. . . .

UPDATED: 04.17.2017 — Merck now reports that the $20,000 it spend in Q1 2017 with the lobbying firm was for “. . .Tax Reform: International tax provisions as it relates to the taxation of income derived from intangible property. . . .” We will watch the full reporting cycle this year to see whether that remains — as the limit of the firm’s engagement. . . . [End, Updated portion.]

Ahh. . . it smells like. . . swamp, to me. 45 has not a snowball’s chance in the River Styx of ending this sort of coziness [my cynical side says it is all intended, all the bluster was for the suckers-show, only]. Hilarious. Even so, I find I cannot stop. . . grinning (on this clear azure morning — old friends are the best friends!), despite this rather cynical turn of events, on drug and biologic price policy setting. Onward!


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