Posted by Curt on 22 February, 2008 at 9:26 am. 7 comments already!

Ray Robison has a good post up at American Thinker on some shady dealings involving some top Democrats such as Pelosi, Hillary, & Obama.

On August 2nd, 2007 Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) submitted a bill to the U. S. House of Representatives which raised a potential conflict of interest involving the Speaker’s widely publicized family stock holdings, corporate sponsors, and former staffers turned lobbyists. The Speaker submitted the bill called the Early Treatment for HIV Act (ETHA) to the House with bipartisan support. It would allow states to decide whether or not to extend Medicare benefits for HIV treatment to some currently not covered.

Speaker Pelosi submitted ETHA one day after Medicare officials announced new rules to cut back on significant expenditures for the drugs PROCRIT® made by Johnson & Johnson and EPOGEN® made by Amgen. The new Medicare rules were primarily geared to reduce the use of the drugs for cancer patients. Those pharmaceuticals are used to treat anemia often seen as a side effect of HIV medications and for other conditions. Both companies enjoy massive revenues from the sales of those medicines, with Johnson & Johnson reporting $3.2 billion in earnings from PROCRIT® and a similar drug and Amgen showing $6.5 billion for EPOGEN® and a similar drug during 2006.

Last year Amgen started losing stock value as word of the cuts spread. A press release from Amgen at its’ corporate website stated “”Recent changes in coverage rules and adjustments to Amgen’s FDA approved labels for EPOGEN(R) and Aranesp have and will adversely affect Amgen’s revenue.” The company then announced layoffs.

The ETHA bill would increase the number of HIV infected persons able to receive government assistance. A PricewaterhouseCoopers analysis conducted in 2003 estimated that the act would increase eligibility for treatment by 30,000 people. In turn the government purchasing of the anemia medications associated with their treatment will certainly increase, making up some of the difference caused by the planned Medicaid purchasing reductions. In effect, this law could turn things around for Amgen and increase Johnson & Johnson stock values.

Considering that the bill was submitted only one day after the Medicare announcement, some viewed it as a reaction to the new guidelines and an attempt to improve the finances of those two drug makers.

The reason why the whole thing looks shady is because Nancy owned over a half a million dollars worth of Johnson & Johnson stock plus two of her key staffers left her side and went on to become lobbyists for Amgen. What a coincidence huh? How about the fact that in the days just before and after this ETHA bill was submitted a bunch of Amgen executives made donations to her campaign totaling thirty grand.

Then you have a bundler of Hillary’s, a former Deputy Chief of Staff for Bill and now a lobbyist, receiving 1.7 million dollars from Amgen. Being a bundler means you can all but guarantee some of that money went into the coffers of Hillarys.

Barack received twelve grand from some Amgen executives just prior to and immediately after a vote in the Senate on a non-binding resolution telling Medicare to back off the new regulations, which was approved unanimously.

So what does all this mean? It means the Times will go after a McCain story with little to go on, print it on its front page above the fold, but will ignore a story that has plenty of evidence to dig into because the principals have a (D) after their name.

How else do you explain it?

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