Critical Condition


The Huffington Post has posted an internal memo sketching out the details of the deal between PhRMA and the White House. Representatives from both PhRMA and the White House have said that the memo is inaccurate, although the White House denial — “the memo isn’t accurate and doesn’t reflect the deal” — implicitly acknowledges that there is such a deal. I don’t know if this particular memo reflects the totality of the agreement, and I personally don’t see anything wrong with a White House negotiating a deal with a specific industry on a contentious issue.  At the same time, I’m quite confident that the press and congressional Democrats would have gone nuts if the Bush administration had tried anything remotely like this. Headlines would have been: “Bush cuts secret deal with drug lobbyists in exchange for political support.” Congress would have held televised hearings. And Huffington Post would have won a Pulitzer for printing the leaked memo.