Health-care reform legislation has benefited from a fair bit of industry support—the most important effect of which was to suppress industry attack ads. But it looks as if industry deals aren't being honored in the Baucus plan. According to Politico, "both chambers advanced proposals today that conflict with agreements struck with the pharmaceutical and hospital industries." And while those groups holding off for now, that might cause big corporate players to shift into opposition mode if the bill doesn't change soon. Politico reports:
First the Senate Finance Committee moved forward with a vote on its health care reform bill, even though it violates the deal Chairman Max Baucus cut with hospitals to help fund it. The industry said it agreed to $155 billion in reduced Medicare payments if the bill provided insurance coverage to 97 percent of legal residents. Yet the bill introduced by Baucus, and the one that will be voted on Tuesday, only covers 94 percent of them.
But no one's yelling double cross, as least just yet.
"There's no unraveling of the deal. We knew this is where we would be. We're doing everything we can to continue to keep that pressure up. If we're on the floor and it continues to look like this then … we're really going to have a problem," said a senior hospital industry lobbyist.
Previously, I noted that many so-called industry "villains" actually support reform.