Friday, August 7, 2009
Botox in the deal
"Ms. Pelosi, many House and Senate Democrats and most of the administration’s liberal allies had assumed that the $80 billion was more of a starting point than a firm commitment.
“We know we can squeeze more from the system,” Ms. Pelosi told a Washington Post blogger a few weeks ago. “The minute the drug companies settled for $80 billion, we knew it was $160 billion.”
“The president made the agreements he made,” she added. “And maybe we’ll be limited by that. But maybe not!”
After Mr. Waxman’s committee approved a House bill last Friday allowing government negotiation of drug prices and requiring additional price rebates, the drug lobbyists began demanding public reassurances from the White House — until Jim Messina, the deputy chief of staff, confirmed the lobbyists’ understanding of the deal in a Wednesday night e-mail message. (A White House spokesman said Thursday that the confirmation was unrelated to the lobbyists’ pressure.)"
UPDATES: William Greider in The Nation says this deal stinks.
Huffington Post reveals an internal memo about deals the White House cut with Pharma.