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rhombus Donating Member (678 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:02 PM
Original message
White House deal with Big Pharma comes back to bite them
Edited on Tue Sep-22-09 09:32 PM by rhombus
Anyone watching the Finance Committee debate on C-SPAN?

I'm disgusted with the Obama White House for cutting deals behind our backs and on the backs of our senior citizens. Sen. Schumer, Rockefeller, Stabenow and Bill Nelson are fighting to close the donut hole in Medicare Part D, and are now being publicly hamstrung by the deals the White House seems to have made with Pharma. The Republicans don't want to repeal the deal and are claiming a deal is a deal. Instead of getting more than $86 billion that could be saved and passed on to seniors in lower prescription costs, we are more than likely going to get far less savings than that thanks to the stupid White House deal.

The critical vote for Bill Nelson's amendment to close the Medicare Part D donut hole is tomorrow. I hope the White House comes out with a strong statement rejecting any deal they might have made with Pharma.
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Thrill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:06 PM
Response to Original message
1. Didn't the AARP already help close the Donut hole?
Edited on Tue Sep-22-09 09:09 PM by Thrill
And Nancy Deparle already said they didn't make any deal for being able to negotiate drug prices with Big Pharma
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rhombus Donating Member (678 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:10 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. They could have closed the donut hole and MORE
Think about it. $86 billion just by going back to the way Medicare used to negotiate for drugs five years ago, before Bush's huge giveaway to Pharma through his prescription drug bill.

The $86 billion could do more to help with other areas to help seniors too.
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natrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 09:49 AM
Response to Reply #1
12. whiner,enough with your poutrage,the mighty O can do no wrong
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msongs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:10 PM
Response to Original message
2. mm thought only congress could make "deals" that are lawfully binding....as in ->
the president proposes, congress disposes.


Msongs
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RC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:15 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. That was before bu$h.
This isn't the first time the Obama Administration used bu$h administration tactics.
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brentspeak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:19 PM
Response to Original message
5. This CBS News article provides some of the details
http://www.wwj.com/Five-Health-Care-Promises-Obama-Won-...

Five Health Care Promises Obama Won't Keep

3. Enable the Government to Directly Negotiate Drug Prices

In the Jan. 31, 2008 debate, Mr. Obama said, "If a drug company -- if the drug companies or a member of Congress who's carrying water for the drug companies wants to argue that we should not negotiate for the cheapest available price on drugs, then I want them to make that argument in front of the American people."

"We'll negotiate with the drug companies for the cheapest available price on drugs," Mr. Obama said again in an Oct. 15, 2008 debate with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

It turns out, however, Mr. Obama reneged on this promise in a secretive way. In July the president praised the drug industry for its agreement to reduce its revenues by $80 billion over 10 years by discounting the cost of medicines for some seniors. After Congress sought to extract further funds from the pharmaceutical industry, however, it was revealed that the White House made some previously undisclosed deals to get the industry to stay at the negotiating table.

"The White House had tracked the negotiations throughout, assenting to decisions to move away from ideas like the government negotiation of prices or the importation of cheaper drugs from Canada," the New York Times reported.


4. Allow Drug Importation

During the campaign, Mr. Obama said his plan (PDF) would "Allow consumers to import safe drugs from other countries" because "some companies are exploiting Americans by dramatically overcharging U.S. consumers."

As noted above, the Obama administration secretly conceded to forgo the importation of cheaper drugs in its deal with the pharmaceutical industry.
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joeycola Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 09:05 AM
Response to Reply #5
10. Thanks for the concise article.
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Phoebe Loosinhouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:24 PM
Response to Original message
6. The Pharma deal was complete crap. It was reported to be 80 billion in reductions over 10 years
which works out to about an 8% reduction at their current voulmes, but will actually be less when the giant influx of new medical consumers (the previously uninsured ) kicks in.

That's some fierce deal-making there, Max and Rahm! A fifteen year old could have negotiated something better than an 8% discount.

I'm sorry, but that deal needs to go down the tubes. A deal that was made without the participation of other members of the Senate Finance Committee and without the approval of the Senate and the House cannot be considered binding in my opinion. There's still plenty of money for Pharma to rake in even with far deeper discounts.

A health reform that does not negotiate drug prices just cannot be taken seriously on the face of it.

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DCKit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:29 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. That would be "$80 in savings" over what they might have charged.
It's a hollow promise. We all know they can't help themselves and will raise prices at will - $$$ are the Viagra of the corporocrats.
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tblue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 02:20 AM
Response to Original message
8. He'd sooner make a strong statement rejecting any deal with us liberals.
I'm sorry, but I'm mad at my President right now. I want him to really fight for us, not just make pretty speeches!!!!!!!
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a kennedy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 07:30 AM
Response to Original message
9. How'd ya like that arse Grassley???
and Senator Kerry, I think he's had enough stalling from the repubs.....he looked just spent last night.
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olegramps Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 09:43 AM
Response to Original message
11. Is it any wonder why Obama's approval rating is going down, down, down!
Just what the hell is he thinking?
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joeycola Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 10:46 AM
Response to Reply #11
17. he is still trying to satify all groups. It is lost cause.
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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 09:59 AM
Response to Original message
13. knr ....
http://www.pnhp.org/news/2009/august/the_art_of_the_dru...

"...In a secret, behind-the-scenes mother of all deals, the Obama administration agreed to two central PhRMA demands: no government negotiation of drug prices for Medicare beneficiaries and no re-importation of cheaper drugs from Canada or other countries. In exchange, the industry pledged $80 billion in cost savings over 10 years. The details of how the cost savings will be achieved and accounted for havent been disclosed...

...Tauzin said of the deal earlier on, We were assured: We need somebody to come in first. If you come in first, you will have a rock-solid deal. Later, reported the New York Times, Tauzin threw down the threat: 80 billion is the max, he said, no more or less, adding other stuff changes the deal. Who is ever going to go into a deal with the White House again if they dont keep their word? You are just going to duke it out instead.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

THE PRESCRIPTION-buying public, of course, got a raw deal. In accepting PhRMAs demand for no price controls, the government is forgoing what could be as much as $220 billion in savings over the same period. Thats according to a report by the Institute for Americas Future that matched drug price savings the government negotiated for the Veterans Administration..."
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 10:18 AM
Response to Reply #13
15. More PNHP garbage. There was
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Zodiak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 10:28 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. Your link makes no sense
It says right in your own post that the Obama administration had a deal and that CONGRESS doesn't. It also says that Congress' efforts will effectively destroy Obama's "deal", and the Democrats are working hard to make that happen.

How can your article even talk about the administration's deal with pharma if there wasn't a deal in the first place?

Spamming links to your own posts is a little narcissistic to begin with, but to misrepresent them is disrespectful to this community. You insult our intelligence.

Here is what Obama said about the deal in your linked post:
""The agreement by pharmaceutical companies to contribute to the health reform effort comes on the heels of the landmark pledge many health industry leaders made to me last month, when they offered to do their part to reduce health spending $2 trillion over the next decade. We are at a turning point in America's journey toward health care reform. Key sectors of the health care industry acknowledge what American families and businesses already know - that the status quo is no longer sustainable. The agreement reached today to lower prescription drug costs for seniors will be an important part of the legislation I expect to sign into law in October. I want to commend House chairmen Henry Waxman, George Miller and Charles Rangel for addressing this issue in the health reform legislation they unveiled this week. This is a tangible example of the type of reform that will lower costs while assuring quality health care for every American"."

And here is what another of your quoted texts say about what congress is doing:
"When Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) introduced an amendment providing cheaper drugs for the Medicare/Medicaid eligibles an amendment that would effectively scrap the White House deal with the branded drug lobby Democrats on the panel couldnt endorse it fast enough. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) came first, saying the proposal makes all the sense in the world. Not to be outdone, Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) quickly followed, the latter arguing that the current arrangement prohibiting negotiation, enacted by Republicans in 2003, was designed simply to put money in the pharmaceutical companies pockets.

Both make mention of a "deal" with Pharma....so why link it pretending there is no deal at all? Silly.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 11:11 AM
Response to Reply #16
19. Your interpretation makes no sense.
There was a deal, it wasn't secret and Congress was involved. Period.

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Phoebe Loosinhouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 11:01 AM
Response to Reply #15
18. The deal wasn't secret, but the complete details within the deal were/are
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/06/health/policy/06insur...

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/08/us/08lobby.html

That's where you are missing the point. The link in your post is the official White House Press release which credits Baucus with doing all the negotiation with no mention of the role the White House played. Please read both my links. The deal the White House touted is a drop in the bucket as far as Pharma was concerned and that's why they acted like they won the blue ribbon at the county fair and why everyone else is so horrified and refusing to sign on. The part the White House failed to mention was that they made their deal to the EXCLUSION OF ANY FURTHER negotiations and that's also where the ruckus is.

In your reply #14 you post a link to the settlement of the White House to the multiple lawsuits filed by Crew as though that is some paean to the openness of this Administration. They had to be SUED to open their records! And as I understand it, the settlement just said that they would open the records after the settlement, leaving all those visits that happened in the first six months to a case by case review if they would release the details. So, yes, there are still "secrets".

I have to agree that it's really annoying to just continually link back to your own posts.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 11:13 AM
Response to Reply #18
20. "I have to agree that it's really annoying to just continually link back to your own posts." What
the hell does that have to do with the facts in the post?

Do you suggest I keep posting the complete articles over and over again?

Your being annoyed is irrelevant if that is what you expect.

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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 11:51 AM
Response to Reply #15
21. What exactly was on the other side of the deal??? That is the question and...
why some people refer to it as a secret deal.

Did the deal include not pushing for Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices? At first the WH acknowledged this part of the deal and then seemed to back away.

Has negotiating for lower drug prices become a part of the reform bill or is re-importation of drugs part of the bill??? If not why not...was that part of the deal.

Both of those issues were listed in the proposed health care plan and I know there is a separate bill on the re-importation question, but there is no guarantee that it will pass as a stand alone bill.


page 5
http://www.barackobama.com/pdf/issues/HealthCareFullPla...

"...Allow Medicare to negotiate for cheaper drug prices.

The 2003 Medicare Prescription Drug

Improvement and Modernization Act bans the government from negotiating down the prices of
prescription drugs, even though the Department of Veterans Affairs negotiation of prescription drug
prices with drug companies has garnered significant savings for taxpayers.32 Barack Obama and Joe
Biden will repeal the ban on direct negotiation with drug companies and use the resulting savings, which
could be as high as $30 billion,33 to further invest in improving health care coverage and quality...


Allow consumers to import safe drugs from other countries.

The second-fastest growing type of health expenses is prescription drugs.29 Pharmaceutical companies should profit when their research and development results in a groundbreaking new drug. But some companies are exploiting Americans by dramatically overcharging U.S. consumers. These companies are selling the exact same drugs in Europe and Canada but charging Americans a 67 percent premium.30 Barack Obama and Joe Biden will allow Americans to buy their medicines from other developed countries if the drugs are safe and prices are
lower outside the U.S..."


White House Affirms Deal on Drug Cost
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/06/health/policy/06insur...

"...In an interview on Wednesday, Representative Raul M. Grijalva, the Arizona Democrat who is co-chairman of the House progressive caucus, called Mr. Tauzins comments disturbing.

We have all been focused on the debate in Congress, but perhaps the deal has already been cut, Mr. Grijalva said. That would put us in the untenable position of trying to scuttle it.

He added: It is a pivotal issue not just about health care. Are industry groups going to be the ones at the table who get the first big piece of the pie and we just fight over the crust? ..."


The article below mentions the various numbers quoted in regards to Medicare negotiating for drug prices.


How Big Pharma's Billy Tauzin conned the White House out of $76 billion.
http://www.slate.com/id/2224621 /

"...Why is the White House's PhRMA deal a bad bargain? Because in securing $80 billion in savings over 10 years, the White House is forgoing what could be as much as $156 billion over the same time period. That's what a 2008 report by energy and commerce's investigations subcommittee calculated to be the savings if Medicare were permitted to buy drugs at the same rates negotiated by the (much smaller) Medicaid program.

So Tauzin conned the White House out of $76 billion. Granted, the provision agreed to by energy and commerce would raise nowhere near that amount, largely because it prohibits Medicare from creating a drug formulary to deny coverage to drugs it deems ineffective or cost-inefficient. (Instead, private insurers who administer the drug benefit establish their own formularies.)


...Candidate Obama, citing a paper by Roger Hickey, Jeff Cruz, and Dean Baker of the Institute for America's Future, put the savings at $30 billion a year, which over a decade would be roughly twice the $156 billion savings envisioned by the energy and commerce committee. (Hickey, Cruz, and Baker proposed matching not Medicaid drug prices but those negotiated by the more straightforwardly socialist Veterans Administration.) By this reckoning, Tauzin swindled not $76 billion from President Obama but $220 billion. That's nearly half what the House health reform bill expects to raise with its proposed surtax on incomes above $350,000! ..."




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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 12:43 PM
Response to Reply #15
22. Look at the Obama plan for HC, the Slate article ties it together...
and shows how far things were compromised from the original plan.

The 300 billion in savings is mentioned in the Obama plan, but they settled for 80 billion.

:(

http://www.slate.com/id/2224621 /

"...Candidate Obama, citing a paper by Roger Hickey, Jeff Cruz, and Dean Baker of the Institute for America's Future, put the savings at $30 billion a year, which over a decade would be roughly twice the $156 billion savings envisioned by the energy and commerce committee. (Hickey, Cruz, and Baker proposed matching not Medicaid drug prices but those negotiated by the more straightforwardly socialist Veterans Administration.) By this reckoning, Tauzin swindled not $76 billion from President Obama but $220 billion. That's nearly half what the House health reform bill expects to raise with its proposed surtax on incomes above $350,000!..."


page 5
http://www.barackobama.com/pdf/issues/HealthCareFullPla...

"...Allow Medicare to negotiate for cheaper drug prices.

The 2003 Medicare Prescription Drug
Improvement and Modernization Act bans the government from negotiating down the prices of
prescription drugs, even though the Department of Veterans Affairs negotiation of prescription drug
prices with drug companies has garnered significant savings for taxpayers.32 Barack Obama and Joe
Biden will repeal the ban on direct negotiation with drug companies and use the resulting savings, which
could be as high as $30 billion,33 to further invest in improving health care coverage and quality..."


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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 09:59 AM
Response to Original message
14. What makes you think the Republicans are full of shit? There
Edited on Wed Sep-23-09 09:59 AM by ProSense
was no secret meeting and no secret deal.

The Republicans aren't needed to pass a health care bill so they can do all the grandstanding they want to.

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joeycola Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 12:49 PM
Response to Reply #14
23. You are such a chuckle.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 12:50 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. Lunch? n/t
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joeycola Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 12:59 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. some other time. thank you.
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Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 01:35 PM
Response to Original message
26. K&R
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