Good work at the Huffington Post!
Baucus Bill Sticks To Pharma Deal That Supposedly Wasn't Struck: the Baucus bill matches up, nearly to the letter, with the secret deal that he, the White House and Big Pharma struck over the summer -- a deal the various parties roundly denied had been struck when it went public. In August, the Huffington Post published a memo that outlined exactly what each side was going to do for the other. And Big Pharma was getting a lot more than they were giving up. Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America senior vice president Ken Johnson said that the outline "is simply not accurate." White House spokesman Reid Cherlin concurred: "This memo isn't accurate and does not reflect the agreement with the drug companies." But now that the bill is out, let's fact check those denials...
Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/09/18/baucus-bill-sticks-to-pha_n_290639.html
I recall Ryan getting enormous amounts of pushback from established media types on how it was "unethical" for him to publish the story: both the White House and Pharma had denied it, and Ryan's source insisted on remaining anonymous.
It turns out that the denials were not so: the claims that "the memo was inaccurate" were references to:
Companies will be assessed a tax or fee that will score at $12 billion...
While, in fact, it appears that the White House-Pharma deal as instituted in the legislative language of the Baucus bill calls for a fee twice as large. That's it. That's what White House spokewman Reid Cherlin meqnt when he said "the memo... does not reflect the agreement with the drug companies" and what Phrma's vice president meant when he said the memo "is simply not accurate". In fact, the memo was accurate--with the exception of a $2.3 rather than a $1.2 billion annual tax.
People who read things from Ken Johnson and Reid Cherlin in the future should beware. People who read things from Ryan Grim in the future should take note.