"You're known as a brazen politician, with few scruples," writes Maggie Mahar.
But, as head of the Big Pharma trade group, you now make friends with the White House to protect your industry interests as best you can. But Mahar writes:
Then out of the blue, you're blindsided by House liberals who mange, at the 11th hour, to tack on an amendment to the House bill giving Medicare the authority to negotiate discounts on drugs. How can this be? This is America. The governments of other countries may try to regulate prices, but we believe in free markets. Drug manufacturers should be able to charge whatever the market will bear--and when people are in pain, and afraid, let me tell you, the market will bear quite a bit. What right does government have to interfere in the Pharma-patient relationship?
"We had a deal!" you squeal. Furious, you spill your guts to the New York Times, explaining that when Pharma "volunteered" to contribute $80 billion to the cause over ten years, the White House agreed to limit the industry's concessions to that amount.