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Thursday, February 11, 2010

PHARMA Boss Tauzin Quits


This should give a lot of people some sort of glee.
Billy Tauzin, the former Louisiana congressman, 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.
And guess what was a contributing factor to him pulling a Palin?
Mr. Tauzin’s departure is the latest unexpected fallout of the Republican upset in the Massachusetts Senate race, which abruptly transformed the health care overhaul from a near-inevitability to a daunting cause.
The strong possibility of (meaningful) reconciliation in the health insurance bill coupled now with this news and who knew a brainless truck driven campaign would result in so much goodness.

Just like liberal/progressive lawmakers being upset over President Obama making the deal with Tauzin last August, the former Democrat than Republican Congressman received not so happy feelings from his board over the suppose truce when it happened. And with the aftermath of last month's Bay State special election, their criticism of the backroom deal has risen.

The pressure of having drug reimportation possibly be put back into the final bill must have gotten to old Billy Boy (though it was highly unlike with how the New Jersey senators teamed up with the White House to assist in Byron Dorgan's amendment).

Still, even if this gives me a smile on my face, there won't be a lot of big reports and columns highlighting how much of a cancer Tauzin has been throughout, even though he will be replaced by someone who will do the job just as ruthless as he did (or attempt to). And he'll at least go into the background with all the millions he has made being a loyal shill for an ignoble industry.

And I wonder, wherever he is at, if Dorgan is supporting a big smile on his face.
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