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Drug makers hope to avoid bitter pill in final legislation

Wall Street Journal, December 24, 2009

After helping torpedo the Clinton healthcare plan 15 years ago, the pharmaceutical industry has largely held its tongue this time. The reason is it doesn't want to undermine an $80 billion deal with Democrats to help pay for an overhaul that could end up benefiting the industry. But liberal Democrats now have stepped up their fire against that deal, which may force the industry to up its financial ante. One key factor is a last-minute push by liberals to eliminate a gap in Medicare drug coverage that forces some seniors to pay a significant portion of the cost of their drugs.