Thursday, March 18, 2010

Obma's Bill Update

The CBO today released it's estimate of the latest "reconciliation" version of the sweeping Healthcare Refrom Bill.  My view is that the odds of it's passage have tipped over 50%.  The CBO score has plenty in it for those Dems on the margins.  Strong coverage of the uninsured and more deficit reduction than prior versions. 

As far as Pharma is concerned, fees or taxes have jumped from $23 billion to $28 billion over the ten year tome horizon.  Pharma has appeared to dodge a bullet in the filling of the Donut Hole.  The bill still demands a 50% discount for drugs in the Donut Hole from manufacturers instead of a worried 75% discount.  In fact the discount for seniors will be 75% but the incremental 25% will be paid for by the government.  It also appears the legislation around the prohibition of pay for delay provisions has been dropped.

So it would appear that the $80 billion dollar pact remains largely in place.  Good news indeed as Pharma stands to gain from the expanded coverage of the uninsured and the long-term closure of the Donut Hole.  PhRMA apparently agrees with my assessment.  They are said to be spending $6 million in advertising in support of the legislation.

Check back for more analysis and perspective as things really heat up over the next few days!

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