Obamanomics: GE, The Corporate Sponsor

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Below is an excerpt from a fascinating article on General Electric’s plans to profit from President Obama’s healthcare reform, assuming it is passed and conforms to Tom Daschle’s standards. The article was written by¬†Andrew Wilkow and Nick Rizzuto for The Washington Times:

For all of the carping liberals did for eight years about the corporate cronyism in George W. Bush’s White House, they seem to turn a blind eye to the same behavior in President Obama’s. With plans in place for a major overhaul in the health-care industry, General Electric is positioning itself to become a major beneficiary of these health care reforms.

Recently at the Business and Social Responsibility Conference, General Electric Chief Executive Officer Jeff Immelt referred to America’s current economic crisis as part of a “reset” rather than part of an economic cycle, saying, “People who understand that will prosper in the future, and people who don’t understand that will get left behind.”

In the same address, Mr. Immelt, who is also a member of Mr. Obama’s economic recovery advisory board, added, “The intersection of government and business will be changed, maybe for a generation.” In other words, companies should be prepared to beg for a seat at the government’s table if they plan on remaining lucrative.

Mr. Immelt’s words betray GE’s willingness to partner with the Obama government in order to turn a profit. To this end, GE has appointed Mr. Obama’s former nominee for secretary of health and human services, Tom Daschle, to the board of advisers for Healthymagination, an initiative launched by General Electric in partnership along with Intel, which will invest $6 billion over the next six years on “health care innovation that will help deliver better care to more people at lower cost.”

Mr. Daschle said, “We can only find real solutions in health care when business, government and their partners work together.”

In 2008, Mr. Daschle wrote the book “Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis” in which he explains his radical solutions to the problems in American health care. In the book, Mr. Daschle calls for a British-style Federal Council on health care.

The profitability of GE’s new venture will depend heavily on the nationalization of the health care industry. The standardization and streamlining of health care recordkeeping, something on which Mr. Obama ran in 2008, would require a massive government contract for the technology to achieve such standardization.

[Read the whole article]