Obama Administration to Top Pharmaceutical Exec Howard Solomon: You’re Fired

Obama may be a communist by upbringing and inclination, but at this point his “fundamental transformation of America” more closely resembles fascism. Under communism, the government directly owns everything, and everyone works for it, essentially as a slave. In subtle contrast, fascism allows for ostensibly private concerns that in reality are run by the government. For example, if a fascist government wanted to fire the CEO of General Motors, it could do so, even before it was nationalized and became Government Motors. A fascist government could also fire CEOs in the pharmaceutical industry:

The Department of Health and Human Services this month notified Howard Solomon of Forest Laboratories Inc. that it intends to exclude him from doing business with the federal government. This, in turn, could prevent Forest from selling its drugs to Medicare, Medicaid and the Veterans Administration. If the government implements its ban, Forest would have to dump Mr. Solomon, now 83 years old, in order to protect its corporate revenue. No drug company, large or small, can afford to lose out on sales to the federal government, a major customer.

This is another reason that seizing control of the healthcare industry was so critical to Democrats. All of the reasons boil down to one: power.

The “action against the CEO of Forest Labs is a game changer,” said Richard Westling, a corporate defense attorney in Nashville who has represented executives in different industries against the government.

According to Mr. Westling, “It would be a mistake to see this as solely a health-care industry issue. The use of sanctions such as exclusion and debarment to punish individuals where the government is unable to prove a direct legal or regulatory violation could have wide-ranging impact.”

It would do this by making it explicit that top executives at supposedly private companies hold their jobs or lose them at the whim of faceless, unelected bureaucrats.

Solomon was not even accused of misconduct; apparently our rulers picked him almost at random as a test case to see what they can get away with — and to make an example to keep other CEOs in line. The pretext was a misdemeanor case against the company over a minor regulatory violation involving marketing that had already been settled.

For once we’re seeing some backbone in the corporate world:

Forest is sticking by its chief. “No one has ever alleged that Mr. Solomon did anything wrong, and excluding him [from the industry] is unjustified,” said general counsel Herschel Weinstein. “It would also set an extremely troubling precedent that would create uncertainty throughout the industry and discourage regulatory settlements.”

The company is right to take a stand.

Lawyers not involved in the Forest case said the attempt to punish an executive who isn’t accused of misconduct could tie up the industry’s day-to-day work in legal knots.

“This ‘gotcha’ approach to enforcement runs the risk of creating a climate within organizations that is inconsistent with the spirit of innovation that is critical to the industry,” said Allen Waxman of Kaye Scholer LLP in New York, who was formerly an in-house counsel at a drug maker.

Innovation is one of the first things to dry up and die when a country lets itself slip into tyranny.

Maybe our liberal overlords just don’t like Solomon’s resume:

Mr. Solomon became chief executive in 1977 and built Forest from a maker of vitamin tablets into a global company with more than $4 billion in annual sales.

In the Age of Obama, this makes Solomon an Enemy of the People.

On a tip from Varla. Cross-posted at Moonbattery.

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