Obama, The Drug Companies, Pesky Facts, Etc.

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At his town hall in New Hampshire on Tuesday, President Obama again positioned himself as an opponent of the drug companies.

One of the things I want to do is to speed up generics getting introduced to the marketplace, because right now drug companies — (applause) — right now drug companies are fighting so that they can keep essentially their patents on their brand-name drugs a lot longer.  And if we can make those patents a little bit shorter, generics get on the market sooner, ultimately you as consumers will save money.

But Ryan Grim at Huffington Post has acquired a memo from a health industry lobbyist that appears to confirm previous reports of the significant concessions that Obama has made with the drug industry, including an agreement that would prevent negotiation of Medicare drug prices, something Obama supported vocally during the campaign. (The White House denies that the memo is accurate.)

Meanwhile, as The Corner points out, Obama upset another constituency, the American College of Surgeons, at the same town hall, with a remark about the price of surgery.

Also, Obama said at the same event that “I have not said that I was a single-payer supporter,” which is false. As Politifact points out, Obama has repeatedly endorsed the single-payer ideal in the past. (He is not pushing it for the current legislation, however.)

Finally, the Annenberg Public Policy Center’s FactCheck.org dings Obama for misrepresenting the AARP’s stance on the health care reform effort. Obama suggested that AARP was “endorsing a bill” when in fact they have not yet endorsed any bill.

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