Thursday, August 6, 2009

The White House's Deal with Drug Companies

This is BIG:

David Kirkpatrick reports in this morning's Times (here) that the White House admitted yesterday that they have promised the drug companies not to compel them to bear more than $80 billion in the cost of health care reform.

The White House was prompted (to make the admission) because of drug industry concern about discussions in the House, this week, about the possibility of (1) allowing the government to negotiate drug prices and (2) demanding additional rebates from drug manufacturers.

This is a significant development because it could seriously piss off progressives: it shows that the White House has committed to a "guarantee" with a major special-interest group, notwithstanding Obama's repeated assurances that "everything's on the table" and that he's not drawing any lines in the sand. I will be very interested to see how the Administration tries to defend itself.

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