Do people now realize that the deal is a good thing in the short run? I mean spending 150-200 million dollars over one month in support of healthcare reform is just astounding.
Now, I'm not going to defend the 80 billion dollar deal with Phrma as a good thing. In the long run, ultimately it's not. Renegotiating with drug companies, which medicare allows the government to do is a very good thing for everybody. But while the reform process continues, is there any doubt that keeping phrma on our side is a good thing?
The nation's drugmakers stand ready to spend $150 million to help President Barack Obama overhaul health care this fall, according to numerous officials, a staggering sum that could dwarf attempts to derail his chief domestic priority.
The White House and allies in Congress are well aware of the effort by Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, a somewhat surprising political alliance, given the industry's recent history of siding with Republicans and the Democrats' disdain for special interests.
The campaign, now in its early stages, includes television advertising under PhRMA's own name and commercials aired in conjunction with the liberal group, Families USA.
Numerous people with knowledge of PhRMA's plans said they had been told it would likely reach $150 million and perhaps $200 million. They spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they were not authorized to divulge details.
Additionally, the industry is the major contributor to Healthy Economy Now, which recently completed a $12 million round of advertising nationally and in several states. The ads were made by companies with close ties to Democrats and the White House and generally reflected the administration's changing rhetoric on health care.
The deal allows renegotiation at another time, outside of the healthcare bill that is going on. To those wondering, would it have been better to have 150-200 million directed against us? Tell me that's a better option. To put in perspective, all of the opposition combined, are spending somewhere between 10-30 million. Further, as the NYTimes noted, Phrma is against the public option, but, because their deal has been made they are NOT GOING TO FIGHT IT.
In this fight you need either Phrma or AHIP siding with you, and it's clear by not making an agreement with Obama, AHIP is going to get shafted, meaning there's a strong likelihood that the public option will be contained in the bill.