"Pressed by industry lobbyists, White House officials on Wednesday assured drug makers that the administration stood by a behind-the-scenes deal to block any Congressional effort to extract cost savings from them beyond an agreed-upon $80 billion," The New York Times
reports. "Drug industry lobbyists reacted with alarm this week to a House health care overhaul measure that would allow the government to negotiate drug prices and demand additional rebates from drug manufacturers." Drug makers then "demanded that the White House explicitly acknowledge for the first time that it had committed to protect drug makers from bearing further costs in the overhaul. The Obama administration had never spelled out the details of the agreement."
Recently, "Mr. Obama and Congressional Democrats have signaled that they value some of its industry enemies-turned-friends more than others. Drug makers have been elevated to a seat of honor at the negotiating table, while insurers have been pushed away… Administration officials and Democratic lawmakers say the growing divergence in tone toward the two groups reflects a combination of policy priorities and political calculus" (Kirkpatrick, 8/5).