Billy Tauzin Resigns from PhRMA

Billy Tauzin, president of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, a drug industry trade group, has become the latest casualty in the battle to reform health care; he is resigning. The deal he cooked up last year with the White House looked like a win-win situation: "On Christmas Eve, the bill passed the Senate with the PhRMA deal fully intact," wrote Paul Blumenthal of Huffington Post.

Tauzin had promised the White House an $80 billion cost cutting measure from the pharmaceutical industry, while protecting PhRMA's hold on the drug production market.  Blumenthal explained the deal:

On August 4, the Los Angeles Times, in an exclusive report, featured quotes from Tauzin claiming that a deal between the White House and PhRMA existed and that, as Tauzin put it, "The White House blessed it." Tom Hamburger wrote in the article, "For his part, Tauzin said he had not only received the White House pledge to forswear Medicare drug price bargaining, but also a separate promise not to pursue another proposal Obama supported during the campaign: importing cheaper drugs from Canada or Europe."

Tauzin was happy; Obama was happy; big pharmaceuticals were happy.  Then along came Scott Brown.  From Christmas to January 19th, Brown's poll numbers went from fifteen percentage points behind Coakley to winning the Senate seat in Massachusetts.  In the final two weeks of his campaign, Brown received donations from Americans across the country, and beat back the Democrat stronghold in that state while breaking the sixty vote majority in the Senate. 

American conservatives weighed in and won; all bets were off on health care reform.  If the White House wanted to realize its goals of reforming health care, it would have to reshuffle the back room deals of the previous ten months.  After all was said and done, Obama admitted to shortcomings in the debate.  Blumenthal wrote:

In an interview with Diane Sawyer, President Obama owed up to failures in the process of passing health care reform, "[T]he health care debate as it unfolded legitimately raised concerns not just among my opponents, but also amongst supporters that we just don't know what's going on ... And it's an ugly process and it looks like there are a bunch of back room deals."


Within this "ugly process" there lies a simple fact:  Obama courted Billy Tauzin in order to win a government takeover of the health care industry, but the president's Chicago style politics was no match for a movement of conservative Americans who will continue to demand full transparency and honest governing from its elected officials.

Billy Tauzin, president of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, a drug industry trade group, has become the latest casualty in the battle to reform health care; he is resigning. The deal he cooked up last year with the White House looked like a win-win situation: "On Christmas Eve, the bill passed the Senate with the PhRMA deal fully intact," wrote Paul Blumenthal of Huffington Post.

Tauzin had promised the White House an $80 billion cost cutting measure from the pharmaceutical industry, while protecting PhRMA's hold on the drug production market.  Blumenthal explained the deal:

On August 4, the Los Angeles Times, in an exclusive report, featured quotes from Tauzin claiming that a deal between the White House and PhRMA existed and that, as Tauzin put it, "The White House blessed it." Tom Hamburger wrote in the article, "For his part, Tauzin said he had not only received the White House pledge to forswear Medicare drug price bargaining, but also a separate promise not to pursue another proposal Obama supported during the campaign: importing cheaper drugs from Canada or Europe."

Tauzin was happy; Obama was happy; big pharmaceuticals were happy.  Then along came Scott Brown.  From Christmas to January 19th, Brown's poll numbers went from fifteen percentage points behind Coakley to winning the Senate seat in Massachusetts.  In the final two weeks of his campaign, Brown received donations from Americans across the country, and beat back the Democrat stronghold in that state while breaking the sixty vote majority in the Senate. 

American conservatives weighed in and won; all bets were off on health care reform.  If the White House wanted to realize its goals of reforming health care, it would have to reshuffle the back room deals of the previous ten months.  After all was said and done, Obama admitted to shortcomings in the debate.  Blumenthal wrote:

In an interview with Diane Sawyer, President Obama owed up to failures in the process of passing health care reform, "[T]he health care debate as it unfolded legitimately raised concerns not just among my opponents, but also amongst supporters that we just don't know what's going on ... And it's an ugly process and it looks like there are a bunch of back room deals."


Within this "ugly process" there lies a simple fact:  Obama courted Billy Tauzin in order to win a government takeover of the health care industry, but the president's Chicago style politics was no match for a movement of conservative Americans who will continue to demand full transparency and honest governing from its elected officials.