Emptywheel -- Biotech Industry Needs 42 Representatives to Try to Refute Jane Hamsher
Their action was a reaction to Jane Hamsher, a blogger who complained about the giveaways in the health care bill to the big drug companies. Oh, and about how if the bill was passed she'd die from cancer because she wouldn't be able to afford the lifesaving drugs.
Essentially the House health care bill has some giveaway provisions for the drug companies that would change the rules for when cheap, effective generics could be produced. They'd make billions, tens of thousands would go bankrupt and die.
Statements by more than a dozen lawmakers were ghostwritten, in whole or in part, by Washington lobbyists working for Genentech, one of the world’s largest biotechnology companies.E-mail messages obtained by The New York Times show that the lobbyists drafted one statement for Democrats and another for Republicans.
The e-mail messages and their attached documents indicate that the statements were based on information supplied by Genentech employees to one of its lobbyists, Matthew L. Berzok, a lawyer at Ryan, MacKinnon, Vasapoli & Berzok who is identified as the “author” of the documents. The statements were disseminated by lobbyists at a big law firm, Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal.
In an e-mail message to fellow lobbyists on Nov. 5, two days before the House vote, Todd M. Weiss, senior managing director of Sonnenschein, said, “We are trying to secure as many House R’s and D’s to offer this/these statements for the record as humanly possible.”
He told the lobbyists to “conduct aggressive outreach to your contacts on the Hill to see if their bosses would offer the attached statements (or an edited version) for the record.”