Obama Campaign Manager, and former Chief of Staff to US Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), Jim Messina took a lot of heat from the left and right alike when helped broker a deal with the pharmaceutical drug industry to get their support of the president’s health care bill.
Following a US House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee investigation, new e-mails shed new light on the deal.
Here’s an excerpt from The Wall Street Journal:
In May 2009, after the administration was hit by negative stories about the rising costs of its proposed health care overhaul, a drug industry lobbyist emailed colleagues, “Perfect timing to cut our deal w the White House as this is swirling.”
A month later, following another barrage of similar stories, another industry lobbyist wrote, ‘It’s pretty clear that the Administration has had a horrible week on health care reform, and we are now getting jammed to make this announcement so the story takes a positive turn before the Sunday talk shows beat up on Congress and the White House.”
Click here to read the full article.
National Public Radio and several other news outlets previously detailed the Messina connection back in 2010 with stories like this:
Blumenthal, a senior writer at the Sunlight Foundation, determined that Congress and PhRMA met dozens of times to negotiate that deal. He tells Terry Gross that he learned who attended the meetings by examining Federal Election Commission records, public visitor logs to the White House and the publicly available schedule of Sen. Max Baucus, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.
“The major people are President Obama, [Chief of Staff] Rahm Emanuel and Jim Messina,” Blumenthal says. “Jim Messina is the former chief of staff and campaign manager to Sen. Max Baucus. You see Jim Messina pop up in meetings between pharmacy CEOs.”