Tauzin Leaves PhRMA Over Potential Failure Of Health Bill, Blames Rahm?

Via Atrios, a fascinating story:

Billy Tauzin, one of Washington’s highest-paid lobbyists, is resigning as president of the drug industry trade group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America amid internal disputes over its pact with the White House to trade political support for favorable terms in the proposed health care overhaul. As the industry’s top lobbyist, Mr. Tauzin brokered the deal with the White House and Max Baucus, chairman of the Senate finance committee, last summer to limit the drug industry’s total costs under the proposed health care overhaul to $80 billion over 10 years.

[. . .] Like almost every other seasoned Washington player, Mr. Tauzin, who makes $2 million a year, bet on health care reform early – only to watch it come to a screeching halt. [. . . A]fter the health care overhaul stalled when Democrats lost the Massachusetts Senate seat, some industry leaders felt the trade group had gone too far giving concessions and could lose on some important legislative issues without gaining the protection it had sought. [. . .] A friend of Mr. Tauzin, speaking on condition of anonymity, defended his role, arguing that it was not his fault the overhaul went off track.

(Emphasis supplied.) The Tauzin and Rahmbo Show to deflect blame on the health care reform debacle will be amuusing to watch.

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    The pact between White House and PhRMA (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by Andy08 on Fri Feb 12, 2010 at 07:43:16 AM EST
    to `trade political support for favorable terms in the proposed health care overhaul'  through lobbyist Tauzin is representative with what was wrong with the health insurance reform approach by the WH and Senate.  This pact needs to go for any reform to be `cost effective'....  

    Not surprising, Tauzin did not (5.00 / 4) (#5)
    by KeysDan on Fri Feb 12, 2010 at 08:35:25 AM EST
     deliver and he is out.  I know these guys, they are savvy businessmen.

    The Obama administration only (5.00 / 4) (#6)
    by observed on Fri Feb 12, 2010 at 08:45:52 AM EST
    deals with savvy businessmnen.

    More change we can believe in (5.00 / 4) (#10)
    by mmc9431 on Fri Feb 12, 2010 at 09:48:53 AM EST
    When Cheney had the energy companies write the energy bill, Democrats were enraged. (They even went to court to try and get the records of the meetings unsealed). Democrats screamed that by letting the fox guard the hen house, the American people were being ripped off. I agreed with them 100% on this issue.

    So what's changed? Is this just another example of change we can believe in?

    Of course these companies are going to write the bill in their favor. In spite of the recent Supreme Court ruling, corporations aren't human! Their objective is to make as much money as they can. In our global economy there's very little room for a social conscience.  

    So who is left in government to represent the intersets of the people?  

    Who's left (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Feb 12, 2010 at 10:11:07 AM EST
    in government to represent the people?

    Man, that really sums it up, doesn't it.  The answer appears to be it's only a dwindling number of people in the House.


    The playing field needs to be leveled (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by mmc9431 on Fri Feb 12, 2010 at 10:26:29 AM EST
    And what power do they have when it only takes one corporate shill to block a bill or appointment?

    The rules need to be changed to restore any semblence of democracy.


    Abolishing the Senate would make (none / 0) (#14)
    by observed on Fri Feb 12, 2010 at 10:30:17 AM EST
    a huge difference. That's where the problem lies.

    The "Blames Rahm" part of the title (none / 0) (#1)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 12, 2010 at 07:28:50 AM EST
    is just for fun. Though I wonder if he does?

    Hmmmm, wonder what we will see (none / 0) (#3)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Feb 12, 2010 at 07:46:57 AM EST
    If this a "free market" though as the President suggests, nobody gets gauranteed profits...NOBODY.  You earn them and you get what the market will bear and thats the name of that tune.  The market (the people) can't bear much anymore.  Do they all really think they could bleed us literally to death forever?  I don't care who they blame because none of this would stand.  It will be interesting to watch though.

    No guaranteed profits? What's the good of backing (none / 0) (#22)
    by jawbone on Fri Feb 12, 2010 at 06:26:43 PM EST
    Corporatist candidates if there's no sure payback?

    Tauzin can blame whomever he wants, (none / 0) (#4)
    by Anne on Fri Feb 12, 2010 at 08:11:01 AM EST
    but the message is that Baucus and Emanuel and even Obama are such tough guys they squeezed the industry so hard - for us - that its chief lobbyist had to cry "uncle."

    I'm pretty sure Tauzin leaving his post will be seen as a huge win for "the little people," and Obama will take the credit.

    2 mil/yr.? I wonder (none / 0) (#7)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 12, 2010 at 09:07:04 AM EST
    What his severance package includes?  Also if no HCR passes isn't the pharmaceutical industry unfettered to do business as usual?

    Yes, it seems like (none / 0) (#8)
    by KeysDan on Fri Feb 12, 2010 at 09:32:29 AM EST
    the $80 billion was their insurance premium against greater losses, which they must now feel is unnecessary.  Oh, and my guess is that Tauzin will land on his financial feet so no tag day for Billy will be required.

    They are subject to the market (none / 0) (#9)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Feb 12, 2010 at 09:37:06 AM EST
    and the market ain't looking so hot these days.  I think they wanted this deal the same way the insurance companies want mandated customers...the future ain't so bright without the deals and the mandates and subsidies.  We can all only pay what we can afford, there was lots of bleeding the government and a multitude of generations built into the deal.  Without the deal they will have to be affordable today and carry on without our grandchildren being scheduled to pay for it.

    Market is fine for PhRMA (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Feb 12, 2010 at 10:09:35 AM EST
    and probably pretty much always will bet. Medicine is only increasing its use of drugs to cure what ails ya.  What they're afraid of is losing the spectacular cash cow of wildly overcharging U.S. patients if the fed. govt. allows itself to negotiate drug prices for covered individuals and/or removing the ban on buying drugs from Canada and elsewhere.

    If they can't rip us off, they're stuck with only a modest profit, not gigantic profits.  Seems OK by me.


    The cash cow is actually (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Feb 12, 2010 at 10:38:20 AM EST
    preventing the pharma companies from being affected by market forces in my opinion, and not enough Americans are being literally strangled to death to be an organized vocal force either because of the government cash cow.  And without drug reimportation or say shopping other drug manufacturers in other countries, once again.....no market forces at work here.  But there will be no blood from turnips and the American people are now the new turnips on the globe.  The only fresh yummy free flowing blood to be had would be from future generations of taxpayers having to pay for the inflated prices we would pay by the enacting of government secret pharma deal programs and government payments and government market protections.

    As a meedom of matter of fact (none / 0) (#16)
    by glennmcgahee on Fri Feb 12, 2010 at 10:40:20 AM EST
    When CREW sued through the Freedom  of Information Act for the White House Visitor Logs, Mr. Tauzin was the most frequent visitor to President Obama's office.
    Of course, this information was released between Christmas and New Years when everybody was distracted. So much for "there will be no LOBBYISTS in my administration". They may not have an official title but the White House is crawling with them.

    Now, Tauzin can (none / 0) (#17)
    by KeysDan on Fri Feb 12, 2010 at 12:47:57 PM EST
    can join the White House staff to work on health care.  He would bring a bipartisan perspective as well as his experience in crafting Medicare Part D.  May need a waiver, but, hey, that can be done.

    Ummm...at what salary? n/t (none / 0) (#18)
    by oldpro on Fri Feb 12, 2010 at 02:25:04 PM EST
    Oh, we could start him at (none / 0) (#20)
    by KeysDan on Fri Feb 12, 2010 at 03:31:24 PM EST
    Rahm's or Gibb's salary of $172,200.  Somewhat of a cut from his $2 million salary, but a stint at the WH would further burnish his bipartisan credentials (having been both a blue dog Democrat and a red meat Republican). He could always catch-up after a year or so--after all there are a lot of trade organizations looking for such talent.

    The government would be a step (none / 0) (#21)
    by oldpro on Fri Feb 12, 2010 at 05:37:17 PM EST
    backwards for Billy.  Can't imagine why he'd do it.

    So...how are the Daschles doing? (none / 0) (#19)
    by oldpro on Fri Feb 12, 2010 at 02:25:55 PM EST
    Just wondering.  Talk about your low profiles.