The Phaserl


Exhibit A: Medicare, The Corporate Welfare Program

by Wolf Richter, Testosterone

Congress excels at enriching corporate welfare programs—in this case, Medicare. Ironically, it happened while Congress is struggling to rein in Medicare’s gargantuan deficits with belt-tightening measures that would hit people who paid into the system throughout their working years. This time, the prime beneficiary was Big Pharma, particularly one company….

Amgen. Yet the giant biotech drug maker had gotten into a heap of trouble on another issue. On December 19, when no one was supposed to pay attention, and when everyone was supposed to be distracted by the Fiscal Cliff theatrics, Amgen pleaded guilty to “illegally introducing a misbranded drug into interstate commerce.” It settled a bevy of criminal and civil issues by agreeing to pay $762 million—as the Department of Justice pointed out—”the single largest criminal and civil False Claims Act settlement involving a biotechnology company in U.S. history.”

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