At the Financial Times, Anna Fifield reports:
The Democratic leader in the US Senate has vigorously defended the backroom deals needed to win enough support to pass his $871bn healthcare reform package on Christmas eve.
Harry Reid spoke to reporters yesterday amid mounting criticism of the "sweetheart" deals needed to win 60 votes.
He said: "There are 100 senators here and I don't know that there's a senator that doesn't have something in this bill that isn't important to them. That's what legislating is all about; it's the art of compromise."
Reuters reports: "Makers of brand-name drugs, medical devices and cosmetic treatments as well as suppliers of home health care services are among the industry winners in the U.S. Senate's sweeping healthcare reform bill."
See, one of the reasons why lobbyists like Abramoff and their allies in Congress have been able to manipulate the system is because most of their backroom deals are done in secret. Just the other day, we heard that because of pressure from health care industry lobbyists, Republican negotiators met behind closed doors and changed a budget bill to provide a $22 billion giveaway to HMOs -- $22 billion that would come right out of the pockets of American taxpayers. But of course, no one knew about the change until much later, and no lawmaker would admit to making it.