I do have to wonder whether they have or not, given that the President is apparently changing the deal that the pharmaceutical companies made with the government (cap the pharma industry's costs from health care rationing at 80 billion over ten years, get 150 million contributed to pro-rationing ad blitzes), presumably on the grounds that of course the administration knew nothing about this ahead of time. The relevant passage:
"In terms of savings for you as a Medicare recipient," President Obama told a town hall attendee yesterday, "the biggest (change) is on prescription drugs, because the prescription drug companies have already said that they would be willing to put up $80 billion in rebates for prescription drugs as part of a health care reform package."
Then the president said, "Now, we may be able to get even more than that.”
That sentence -- seemingly an aside -- could be significant. Because it may indicate that President Obama does not consider himself bound by an agreement upon which the pharmaceutical industry thinks the White House has signed off.
I need hardly remind readers of Jim Geraghty's observation that "All Barack Obama Statements Come With an Expiration Date. All Of Them." It will be interesting to see though whether the administration is going to continue to suggest that it was not involved in the negotiations - and whether this suggestion will cause more troubles than it solves. It will be even more interesting to see what happens if the pharmaceutical industry unilaterally lives up to its end of the bargain and health care rationing still doesn't pass. After all, from the Democrats' point of view the $150 million spent on pro-rationing ads would just be Other People's Money anyway...
Crossposted to Moe Lane.