PhRMA Spills the Beans: Baucus “is a Done Deal”

by JC

It was only a matter of time until PhRMA’s head, Billy Tauzin, had to stick his foot in his mouth and out the Administration and Baucus about the $80 billion drug deal. You know, the one about which Nancy Pelosi had this to say:

“The minute the drug companies settled for $80 billion, we knew it was $160 billion. Right? If they’re giving away $80 billion?” A few minutes later, she suggested that maybe those agreements weren’t inviolable. “The president made the agreements he made,” she said. “And maybe we’ll be limited by that. But maybe not!”

Remember Billy Tauzin? Onetime republican rep from Lousiana, and as recently as 2004 chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee now headed by Henry Waxman? The last House Committee to report out a healthcare bill last week? Yah, that Billy Tauzin. The Billy Tauzin who pushed the Medicare bill through Congress that diverted billions to pharmaceutical companies?

When the prescription drug bill finally passed shortly before dawn, in the longest roll call in the history of the House of Representatives, much of the credit went to former Congressman Billy Tauzin, R-La., who steered it through the house.

The Billy Tauzin that left Congress from his position of regulating pharmaceuticals to being their chief lobbyist? Yeah, that Billy Tauzin.

One only has to look to the White House statement released by Jim Messina (AKA “the Fixer”) to know that this is a big deal: “The president encouraged this approach.”

So Obama brought Tauzin in, roughed him up a bit, then offered him a deal, and “directed him to negotiate with Senator Max Baucus, the business-friendly Montana Democrat.” The business friendly Montana Democrat! How about that!! Max, the $750,000 recipient of donations from the pharmaceutical industry. Talk about a couple of foxes guarding the henhouse!

Well, now we know why healthcare reform, Max-style, is a done deal. A deal with the devil. The administration found themselves a nice paid-for shill already in the pocket of PhRMA to go and offer the industry a little bit of protection in order for some concessions. I think I’m starting to get the feel for what “politics, Chicago-style” is all about.

Will the American people stand for that? As Pelosi says: “Maybe… maybe not.”

Just a little back story for you all about the upcoming Obama/Baucus summit in Bozeman.


  1. Steve W

    I heard Tausin talking about this on NPRs “Weekend Edition ” last Sunday morning.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=111347558&ft=1&f=106181052




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