Obama Struck Deal With Drug Lobby

    US President Barack Obama reads over before signing a Continuing Resolution, a stopgap measure passed by Congress to avert a government shutdown for two weeks amid a fierce budget dispute between the White House and Democrats on the one side and Republican leaders on the other, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, March 2, 2011.                     AFP PHOTO/Jim WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

    Jim Watson, AFP / Getty Images

    Emails released by the House Republicans show that in 2009, the White House struck a deal with a major pharmaceutical lobby in order to overhaul the health-care system. In the deal, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America agreed to give $80 billion for health reform in exchange for protection from policies that lower the cost of prescription medication. Republicans are condemning the deal as going against Obama’s promises of transparency, while Democrats are calling Republicans hypocritical. “Throughout his campaign, President Obama was clear that he would bring every stakeholder to the table in order to pass health reform, even longtime opponents like the pharmaceutical industry,” said the White House communications director. “He understood correctly that the unwillingness to work with people on both sides of the issue was one of the reasons why it took a century to pass health reform.”

    Read it at The New York Times