A senior White House aide told Democratic senators Thursday that the administration did not make a deal with the pharmaceutical lobby that would prevent Congress from using the government’s clout to negotiate for lower drug prices, according to three Democratic senators who were in the meeting.
The New York Times had reported on Thursday morning that the White House affirmed that a deal barring price negotiations had been struck.
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) asked two top White House aides, David Axelrod and deputy White House chief of staff Jim Messina, if the administration had cut such a deal with PhRMA.
“He says there’s no deal. I take him at his word,” Brown told the Huffington Post.
Given that there is no conceivable upside to Messina lying to the NYT in the first place – which we’d have to believe he did in order to accept that there never was a deal – I’m going to go ahead and say the Whitehouse is full of shit on this one. Dodd doesn’t sound convinced either.
At least now Congress is free to take a bigger bite out of Pharma. (edit: Or not, if Joe at Americablog is reading the situation correctly.) Let’s hope they have the stomach. I imagine hardcore Obama sycophants might try and convince themselves this was all some clever political juijitsu but I fail to see how that works out. “We could just deny it right out, but that wouldn’t cause my base to lose a measure of faith in me!”