Boehner scolds PhRMA for $80B deal

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) is not at all happy with the $80 billion healthcare reform deal the pharma industry cut with the Obama Administration. In a strongly-worded letter to PhRMA head (and former colleague) Billy Tauzin, Boehner blasted the deal, calling it a shortsighted move that will hurt both pharma companies and patients in the long run. The industry has agreed to cut costs over the next decade in exchange for certain assurances from the White House--assurances that have not been made public.

Calling the Obama Administration a "bully," Boehner blasts PhRMA for capitulating to Administration pressure. "When a bully asks for your lunch money, you may have no choice but to fork it over," he wrote. "But cutting a deal with the bully is a different story, particularly if the 'deal' means helping him steal others' money as the price of protecting your own."

Boehner maintains that the Administration is not bound to uphold it's end of the deal, and that key Democratic leaders in Congress have already said they won't honor the agreement. "...[N]ow that the deal is publicly known and would be messy for you to reverse, Big Government is changing the terms...because it can." Hence, pharma jobs are no safer, patients stand to suffer, and innovation in the industry could nose-dive. Boehner concludes by urging Tauzin to rethink the deal and halt the $150 million ad campaign PhRMA has launched to support the new healthcare plan.

- see Boehner's letter (.pdf)
- check out the Kaiser Health News report
- read this piece from the Huffington Post