Reid: I’m Not Bound By White House/PhRMA Deal

During a Friday tele-town hall with constituents, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he’s not bound by a controversial deal, reportedly reached between the White House and the pharmaceutical industry, to cap drug manufacturers’ contributions to the cost of health care reform.

“I have not agreed with anybody to do that,” Reid said. “I’m a Democrat in the Senate, and I haven’t agreed.”

PhRMA was the first major industry group to support the president’s health care reform initiative, and even agreed to contribute $80 billion to the upstart cost of overhauling the system. But its support was reportedly linked to a deal, agreed to by the White House, that limits the contribution to $80 billion, and that rewards drug manufacturers with White House support for a number of their key policy preferences. The White House and PhRMA have each tried to walk back reports of the deal, though at times in conflicting ways.

Reid is the latest in a growing list of key members of Congress to insist they weren’t party to the deal and aren’t bound by it.