House GOP releases documents on health care deals

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WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans are releasing emails and documents that shed light on dealings between the White House and the drug industry as President Barack Obama maneuvered to move his health care overhaul through Congress.

The materials released Thursday cover a critical period in the summer of 2009 when the legislation was bogging down in Congress. An $80-billion financial commitment by the drug companies gave Obama some momentum.

The deal included better prescription coverage for Medicare recipients. Broad outlines were known at the time.

Drug makers succeeded in avoiding new requirements to pay rebates to the government for Medicare drugs. Ultimately, they were also able to preserve an existing ban against patients importing lower-priced medications from overseas.

The powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee obtained the emails from industry.

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