It appears Pharmaceutical lobby has Obama and some democrats in their pocket.
Pharma Deal Shuts Down Senate Health Care Debate
The White House, aided by Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), is working hard to crush an amendment being pushed by Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) to allow for the reimportation of pharmaceutical drugs from Canada, Senate sources tell the Huffington Post.
As a result, the Senate health care debate has come to a standstill: Carper has placed a "hold" on Dorgan's amendment and in response, Dorgan tells HuffPost, he'll object to any other amendments being considered before he gets a vote on his.
Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) is a lead co-sponsor of Dorgan's amendment. She said she's confident that, as of now, they have the votes they need. "I think that's why we're not having this vote," she said, smiling. The amendment has the support of a number of other Republicans, including Sens. John McCain (Ariz.), Charles Grassley (Iowa), John Thune (S.D.) and David Vitter (La.).
Opponents of the amendment worry that many more Republicans may join the amendment not because they agree with it, but because they want to put the health care bill in jeopardy.
So the White House and the drug makers are trying to persuade as many Democrats as they can to oppose the amendment despite their previous support for it.
"I don't think that's going to get my vote," Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) said when HuffPost asked about the reimportation amendment. He said that even though he is a supporter of reimportation, he is concerned that if it passes it could blow everything up.
"I'm not messing around with anything without 60 votes. Nothing," he said. "And I'm a co-sponsor of the amendment."
The dispute within the Democratic caucus is becoming personal. "Of course, with Dorgan, it's all about Dorgan," a senior Democratic aide told HuffPost, complaining that Dorgan was willing to blow up health care reform for his own glory.