11/25/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Health Care Reform: Drug Companies Are The Big Winners

As Congress gets closer to final healthcare-reform legislation, the central question remains murky: Who will foot the bill?

Figures contained in the $856 billion proposal by Democratic Sen. Max Baucus of Montana--which has emerged as the basis for a final compromise between the House and Senate--suggest that key parts of the healthcare industry are getting off easy. The Baucus bill would pay for itself in a number of ways, including taxes on some high-cost insurance plans, Medicare cost reductions, and cuts in federal benefits. It would also raise about $13 billion a year from fees paid by three industries: pharmaceuticals, health insurance, and medical device