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Pharma loses: No Medicare change in spending bill

Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi
Speaker Paul Ryan, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Photo: Matt McClain / The Washington Post via Getty Images)

The pharmaceutical industry suffered a rare lobbying loss in Congress' big spending bill. An earlier spending bill forced the industry to cover more of the costs for seniors' Medicare drug coverage, and it was hoping to get that provision rolled back this time. But that won't happen, despite behind-the-scenes lobbying from both industry and lawmakers.

Why this matters: Pharma was caught off guard by the provision last time, and its lobbying was unsuccessful this go-around. This is highly unusual for the powerful industry, although the provision could still be reversed in the future.