Health Reform in Limbo, Top Drug Lobbyist Quits
By DUFF WILSON AND DAVID KIRKPATRICK
Billy Tauzin, one of Washington’s highest-paid lobbyists, is resigning as president of the drug industry trade group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America amid internal disputes over its pact with the White House to trade political support for favorable terms in the proposed health care overhaul.
As the industry’s top lobbyist, Mr. Tauzin brokered the deal with the White House and Max Baucus, chairman of the Senate finance committee, last summer to limit the drug industry’s total costs under the proposed health care overhaul to $80 billion over 10 years.
Mr. Tauzin’s departure is the latest unexpected fallout of the Republican upset in the Massachusetts Senate race, which abruptly transformed the health care overhaul from a near-inevitability to a daunting cause.