Friday’s withdrawal of the Republican health care bill from Congress must have created considerable relief in many corners of the health care industry. Not only had Democrats and many moderate Republicans expressed concern over the bill’s potential consequences for patients, but interest groups lined up almost uniformly against the bill. The American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, AARP, and dozens of other groups representing hospitals, providers, and patients all opposed the bill.
Yet the pharmaceutical industry, and its lobbying group PhRMA in particular, were largely silent as the bill was being discussed, debated, and ultimately withdrawn. This silence is somewhat puzzling, in light of the significant negative impact the Republican bill would have had on the industry.