PhRMA answers GOP leader's "appeaser" slur

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The top Republican in the House of Representatives accused PhRMA of “appeasing” the Obama administration, which he cast as a bully who “asks for your lunch money.”

In a terse response, PhRMA SVP Ken Johnson said the group's pro-reform campaign was “completely consistent with our core principals, reflecting a belief that every single American should have access to high-quality, affordable healthcare coverage and services.

“Appeasement rarely works as a conflict resolution strategy,” Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) wrote to his former Republican colleague, PhRMA CEO Billy Tauzin. “This is as true in the arena of policymaking as it is in schoolyards across America. When a bully asks for your lunch money, you may have no choice but to fork it over. But cutting a deal with the bully is a different story, particularly if the ‘deal' means helping him steal others' money as the price of protecting your own.”

Boehner noted that House leaders like Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), who holds Tauzin's old assignment as head of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, have vowed not to respect PhRMA's agreement with the White House and the Senate Finance Committee, and that the bill Waxman's committee produced contains several provisions that PhRMA opposes. “But the simple press release your organization issued objecting to the House bill is dwarfed by the $150 million advertising campaign your organization has launched in support of ObamaCare with the assistance of well-funded political organizations on the left.”

PhRMA's Johnson responded: “In the end, we believe our companies' shared goal will benefit patients, the economy and the future of America by fostering continued medical progress that could lead to new cures for debilitating and oftentimes deadly diseases. Saving money during these difficult economic times is very important, as demonstrated by our $80 billion commitment to healthcare reform. But you simply can't put a price tag on our commitment to saving lives.”

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