During the 2009 push for health care reform, in scenes that conspiracy theorists usually have to imagine, the hospital industry sat down with White House officials and agreed to support the administration’s effort in exchange for Obama promising to protect their profits, which included a commitment to kill the public option. Yet, like any good mercenaries, the hospital association didn’t stay loyal for long. Their sweetheart deal is now law, and the political tide has turned. And so, the American Hospital Association PAC is now spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to help elect Republicans this November.

AMERICAN HOSPITAL ASSOCIATION PAC – C00106146
View Download FEC-505180 Form F24 – filed 10/19/2010 – 24 HOUR NOTICE

1. Supports Candidate: Rep. Patrick J. Tiberi
Office Sought: House of Representatives, Ohio District 12
Payee: McCarthy Marcus Hennings, Ltd.
Date Expended = 10/19/2010 Amount Expended = $5183.48
Purpose: Television Production

2. Supports Candidate: Rep. Lee Terry
Office Sought: House of Representatives, Nebraska District 02
Payee: McCarthy Marcus Hennings, Ltd.
Date Expended = 10/19/2010 Amount Expended = $5093.48
Purpose: Television Production

3. Supports Candidate: Rep. Lee Terry
Office Sought: House of Representatives, Nebraska District 02
Payee: Mentzer Media
Date Expended = 10/19/2010 Amount Expended = $78400.00
Purpose: Television Advertising

4. Supports Candidate: Rep. Patrick J. Tiberi
Office Sought: House of Representatives, Ohio District 12
Payee: Mentzer Media
Date Expended = 10/19/2010 Amount Expended = $121600.00
Purpose: Television Advertising

5. Supports Candidate: Rep. James W. Gerlach
Office Sought: House of Representatives, Pennsylvania District 06
Payee: Multi Media Services Corporation
Date Expended = 10/19/2010 Amount Expended = $106000.00
Purpose: TV & Radio Advertising & Production

6. Supports Candidate: Rep. Charles W. Dent
Office Sought: House of Representatives, Pennsylvania District 15
Payee: Multi Media Services Corporation
Date Expended = 10/19/2010 Amount Expended = $35000.00
Purpose: Radio Advertising & Production

7. Supports Candidate: Rep. Mark Steven Kirk
Office Sought: Senate, Illinois District 00
Payee: OnMessage Inc.
Date Expended = 10/19/2010 Amount Expended = $123500.00
Purpose: Radio Advertising & Production

It seems fitting irony that the hospitals now turn on the Democrats, since, to make his secret deal with them, Obama himself betrayed so many. In agreeing to protect the hospital industry’s pot of gold, Obama betrayed his word, his base, every taxpayer, and the everyday Americans his health care bill was meant to help.

Betraying his word - The public option was not only one of Obama’s campaign promises. For months during the health care fight, the president claimed to support it–even after having secretly agreed to make sure it would not be in the final bill–the whole time also signaling he did not want to fight for it and wanted it to be “dealt” away.

Betraying his base – It was the absolute height of cynicism. Obama not only lied to his base for months about supporting the public option, he actually asked them to join in a pledge that included a public option as main component, knowing the whole time he intended to do whatever was needed to make sure that pledge wouldn’t be fulfilled.

Betraying the taxpayers – Dropping the public option will be a huge financial boon to the hospitals, but at a terrible cost to taxpayers. According to the CBO’s conservative estimates, the absense of a public option will cost the American taxpayers between $4 billion and $18 billion a year.

Betraying regular Americans – The lack of a public option on the exchange, according to the CMS, will result in millions of Americans forced to pay more for inferior health insurance.

Despite funneling hundreds of billions of government and working Americans’ dollars to the hospitals, it should surprise no one outside the White House that you simply can’t buy corporate loyalty. Now we are left with a horribly designed health care bill that won’t solve our problems, costs far too much, is highly unpopular, helped alienate parts of the Democratic base, and isn’t even defended by the corporations Obama thought he could buy-off with promises of billions in government funds. Just another reminder that real loyalty can’t be bought.

Obama turned on his own supporters in an attempt to make common cause with the same Washington special interests Obama ran against, and, in turn, they, too, turned on Democrats. Obama, the hospital lobby, and PhRMA, as all creatures of the backroom deal-making, double-crossing culture of Washington–they deserve each other.