August 14th, 2009

Chris Keeley

A memo obtained by the Huffington Post confirms that the White House and the pharmaceutical lobby se

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/08/13/internal-memo-confirms-bi_n_258285.html

A memo obtained by the Huffington Post confirms that the White House and the pharmaceutical lobby secretly agreed to precisely the sort of wide-ranging deal that both parties have been denying over the past week.

The memo, which according to a knowledgeable health care lobbyist was prepared by a person directly involved in the negotiations, lists exactly what the White House gave up, and what it got in return.

It says the White House agreed to oppose any congressional efforts to use the government's leverage to bargain for lower drug prices or import drugs from Canada -- and also agreed not to pursue Medicare rebates or shift some drugs from Medicare Part B to Medicare Part D, which would cost Big Pharma billions in reduced reimbursements.

In exchange, the Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers Association (PhRMA) agreed to cut $80 billion in projected costs to taxpayers and senior citizens over ten years. Or, as the memo says: "Commitment of up to $80 billion, but not more than $80 billion."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/08/13/internal-memo-confirms-bi_n_258285.html
 

Chris Keeley

Two Acres of Hope for Recovering Addicts

Two Acres of Hope for Recovering Addicts

GARRISON, N.Y.

IT was shortly after 8 a.m. on a sun-drenched July day in this idyllic hamlet 50 miles north of Manhattan, and a hulk of a man named Venice Crafton was lumbering between beds of arugula, leaving outsize footprints in his wake.

Mr. Crafton is 6-foot-2 ½ inches, 241 pounds and missing his two front teeth, all of which might have made him seem menacing but for the wide-brimmed, slightly floppy straw hat on his head.

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