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August 13, 2009

REVEALED: SECRET OBAMA-PhARMA DEAL MEMO BOTH PARTIES HAVE DENIED FOR WEEK

Gibbys spent a good chunk of today's presser lying about this, by the way. Chuck Todd kept asking if the White House had made specific pledges to PhARMA, and Gibbs kept saying something like "We've only pledged to look for further savings." (Something like that -- don't quote me.)

How is promising not to seek savings in the bulk of the federal drug budget "looking for further savings"?

Caught on memo: The specific pledges the White House denies.

And a sell-out, of course, for political support, because the White House specifically promises to not seek "savings" in huge categories.

Memo at the link. For once I don't mind throwing the HuffPo traffic.

A memo obtained by the Huffington Post confirms that the White House and the pharmaceutical lobby secretly agreed to precisely the sort of wide-ranging deal that both parties have been denying over the past week.

The memo, which according to a knowledgeable health care lobbyist was prepared by a person directly involved in the negotiations, lists exactly what the White House gave up, and what it got in return.

It says the White House agreed to oppose any congressional efforts to use the government's leverage to bargain for lower drug prices or import drugs from Canada -- and also agreed not to pursue Medicare rebates or shift some drugs from Medicare Part B to Medicare Part D, which would cost Big Pharma billions in reduced reimbursements.

In exchange, the Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers Association (PhRMA) agreed to cut $80 billion in projected costs to taxpayers and senior citizens over ten years. Or, as the memo says: "Commitment of up to $80 billion, but not more than $80 billion."

Representatives from both the White House and PhRMA, shown the outline, adamantly denied that it reflected reality. PhRMA senior vice president Ken Johnson said that the outline "is simply not accurate." "This memo isn't accurate and does not reflect the agreement with the drug companies," said White House spokesman Reid Cherlin.

And bear in mind Big Pharma's promise to spend up to $150 million in television ads pimping Obama's plan.


Minus the "dirt cheap" part, of course.





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