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Cut bottom line or kill patients? 

Lowdown

Mitt Romney is right: Barack Obama and his Oval Office cell of insidious socialists are strangling American corporations with the red tape of federal regulations.

For example, look at what the Food and Drug Administration did to poor little Pfizer, the gigantic drug maker that markets an Alzheimer's medicine called Aricept.

This pill delivers $2 billion a year in sales, but alas, its monopoly patent was set to expire in 2010, opening the door for cheaper generic versions. So, with a wink and a grin, Aricept's maker asked FDA regulators to extend its monopoly.

Why? Because it had come up with a new version. Actually, the new was the same as the old, except more than twice the dosage.

But FDA's dastardly medical researchers said no.

Why? Their pathetic excuse was that the goosed-up potency produced practically no benefits to Alzheimer's sufferers, while causing severe side effects that could kill elderly patients.

See, it's this kind of socialistic picky-pickiness that proves how unfriendly the Obamacans are to corporate interests. After all, what are a few dead old people compared to monopoly profits in corporate coffers?

But wait — amazingly, justice suddenly prevailed!

Dr. Russell Katz, a top FDA official, stepped in and overruled the agency's scientists.

While Katz did admit that the more potent Aricept pill could cause "increased mortality," he asserted that it most likely would improve the overall functionality of patients who survived.

Never mind that actual clinical tests of the juiced-up drug showed no such improvement — the important thing is that some Obama regulators seem at last to be heeding candidate Mitt Romney's message that we must coddle corporations, not challenge them.

President Obama — as well as you and me — have to decide which side we're on: people or profits?

Mitt says the choice is simple.

Jim Hightower is the best-selling author of Swim Against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can Go With the Flow, on sale from Wiley Publishing. For more information, visit jimhightower.com.

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