Today, a memo was circulated to Democratic Members of the Energy and Commerce Committee that summarizes the role of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) in the passage of the Affordable Care Act. The full memo is available online here.
Also circulated was a joint statement from Full Committee Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman and Oversight Subcommittee Ranking Member Diana DeGette, commenting on the Republican memorandum regarding the Affordable Care Act. The full text of that statement follows:
"President Obama's efforts to enlist the support of private industry are exactly what presidents have always done to enact major legislation. His efforts are what Americans expect of their leaders. They are no different than those of President Lyndon B. Johnson in enacting Medicare in 1965 or President George W. Bush in expanding Medicare to add a prescription drug benefit in 2003.
"Unfortunately, the memorandum that the Republicans released today about the Affordable Care Act is one-sided, misleading, and full of significant errors, raising serious questions about the fact-finding abilities of Committee Republicans.
"For example, the Republican memo concludes that "the White House settled for approximately $80 billion in payment reductions' from PhRMA. In fact, the provisions described in the Republican memo were changed significantly in the final legislation. Interviews the Committee staff conducted with PhRMA lobbyists reveal that the final legislation will cost the drug companies $110 to $125 billion. This is substantially more than the amount the Republican memorandum says the White House was able to obtain.
"Perhaps most important, the Republican memo does not mention the significant benefits that the drug provisions in the health reform law are already providing seniors and taxpayers. The drug provisions have lowered pharmaceutical costs by over $3 billion for millions of seniors and have saved taxpayers billions of dollars."