November 13, 2006
-- by Dave Johnson
NYTimes story this morning: Administration Opposes Democrats’ Plan for Negotiating Medicare Drug Prices,
The Bush administration said on Sunday that it would strenuously oppose one of the Democrats’ top priorities for the new Congress: legislation authorizing the government to negotiate with drug companies to secure lower drug prices for Medicare beneficiaries.This is entirely about money and corruption. The Democrats have the House and Senate, and are implementing new rules that make it very hard for money to influence the process. So there is a LOT of lobbyist money floating around looking for a place to land. This is Bush sending out the word that the Republicans are still able to influence legislation - for the right price. He is saying to the pharmaceutical industry - pay us and we can block this. If the Democrats change this policy it will cost the drug companies billions.
In an interview, Michael O. Leavitt, the secretary of health and human services, said he saw no prospect of compromise on the issue.
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