The dispute traps Obama between his campaign rhetoric and the political realities of health-care reform, which depends in large part on tacit support from drugmakers and other industry groups. Under the earlier agreement with the White House, the pharmaceutical industry agreed to contribute $80 billion toward reform over 10 years in exchange for protection from further cuts.
"It's about being a candidate as opposed to being president," said Ken Johnson, senior vice president of the Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). "When you become president, you realize that the sound bites don't always work in reality. . . . I think they've looked at the problems now and have concluded there's no way to ensure the safety of medicines reimported into the United States right now."
via Drugmakers fight plan to allow drug reimportation.
There is no substantive reason why what a president cannot push what he promises on the campaign trail - especially when it comes to something like pharmaceutical reimportation, which every other industrialized country has legalized. I repeat - there is simply no substantive reason why a president cannot push what he has promised on the campaign trail. The platitudes from corporate lobbyists insisting that the alleged difference between "campaigning and governing" somehow absolves politicians from breaking their promise is deliberately designed to perpetuate the status quo.