Friday, October 9, 2009

Pfizer's Continued Bad Conduct Incites ACORN Act

Minnesota Democrat Betty McCollum, a member of the House Appropriations Committee appears to be tired of the hypocrisy of the federal government of allowing corporate felons, like Pfizer to continue to win massive government contracts.

McCollum is found saying, “It’s time Congress get serious about taxpayer funding of corporate cheats, crooks and criminals.”

Her position came after Pfizer had to pay $2.3 billion settlement with the Justice Department after Pfizer defrauded government health care programs and paid kickbacks to health care providers, inducing them to prescribe their off-labeled marketed drugs. All of this fraud cost the American taxpayers billions of dollars.

Apparently Pfizer is a habitual violator. They have intentionally violated the law over an extensive period of time and even continued to do so when settling prior cases with the government. As quoted by attorney general Tony West, Pfizer’s behavior “puts the public health at risk”, corrupts medical decisions by healthcare providers and costs the government billions of dollars.”

Despite Pfizer’s historical bad conduct, they continue to win massive government contracts. McCollum is mad as hell.

McCollum wants to place penalties onto corporate cheats like Pfizer by inhibiting their ability to obtain federal contracts, grants or any other form of benefit for a 5 year period beginning 30 days after the date of the criminal conviction. McCollum also wants to stop corporate cheats from contributing to campaign politicians for 5 years which will limit their political prowess. She is introducing her bill entitled, “Against Corporations Organizing to Rip-off the Nation Act of 2009” which ironically is abbreviated as ACORN Act.

I think McCollum is on to something here. Her bill won’t throw the criminals in jail (where actually they belong), but it will somewhat limit their political power for at least 5 years. It is a step in the right direction to dissuade big wealthy corporations from their continued unethical business practices which harm the American people, cost us billions of dollars and harm the integrity of the American system.

For more on this topic, see an excellent article by Jeremy Scahill, published in The Nation on Oct 5, 2009, entitled, “An ACORN Amendment for Pfizer.”

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