That's a tough question to answer, but this gives you a pretty good answer:
The White House, aided by Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), is working hard to crush an amendment being pushed by Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) to allow for the reimportation of pharmaceutical drugs from Canada, Senate sources tell the Huffington Post.
As a result, the Senate health care debate has come to a standstill: Carper has placed a "hold" on Dorgan's amendment...
Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) is a lead co-sponsor of Dorgan's amendment. She said she's confident that, as of now, they have the votes they need. "I think that's why we're not having this vote," she said, smiling.
Carper represents the home state of AstraZeneca and has raked in a whopping $200,000 from the drug industry over his career. And Sens. Frank Lautenberg (D) and Bob Menendez (D) - both from New Jersey, the home of many drug companies - have joined with him. Those two combined have received roughly $800,000 from the pharmaceutical industry. And, of course, they are help the Obama administration shit all over President Obama's explicit promise to champion drug importation legislation.
How corrupt are some Democrats, you ask?
Corrupt enough to work against legislation their party for years promised to champion, their president promised to support, many of their own members support, most industrialized countries already have on their books and that the Senate has the votes to pass.
Corrupt enough to effectively insist that while it's somehow perfectly safe to import lead-painted toys from China and disease-carrying vegetables from Mexico, it's somehow unsafe to allow Americans to purchase drugs imported from FDA-certified factories in industrialized countries - even though drug firms themselves are allowed to do this (and do it all the time).*
Corrupt enough, indeed, to try to block a progressive amendment that key Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe says that - if passed - would make her more likely to vote for the underlying health care reform bill.
That's how corrupt.
* This is a really important point that everyone seems to forget: Drug companies already produce a lot of the medicines they sell Americans in other countries. In other words, many of the medicines you consume right now are already made abroad. The drug companies do this for all sorts of reasons, not the least of which is lower manufacturing/labor/environmental compliance costs in countries like China and exorbitant tax subsidies in countries like Ireland. Current law, however, only allows the drug companies themselves to import medicines from other countries - it does not allow individuals or (more importantly) wholesalers and pharmacists to do the same thing.
Indeed, pharmaceuticals are the only product that enjoys this double-standard, whereby only the manufacturers are allowed to import and export, but not consumers or wholesalers. And this double-standard exists so that the pharmaceutical industry can control drug prices, and protect those prices from the competitive pressures of free trade (the free trade principle, by the way, that drug companies routinely lobby for when aggressively pushing for free trade deals that help them open up factories in other nations). Drug importation legislation would simply allow American pharmacists, wholesalers and individuals to import FDA-approved medicines from FDA-approved factories just like American drug companies already do - and import those medicines at the lower prices they are sold in other countries.
So when the FDA insists that drugs from abroad are "unsafe," not only does the agency have zero proof that's true (where are the dead Canadians?), but the agency is actually implying that it's own much-ballyhooed activities inspecting and regulating drug companies' foreign factories is failing. It most certainly isn't, of course. What's really going on is that the FDA is lying on behalf of the pharmaceutical industry - specifically, putting out a dishonest canard of "safety" in order to justify a current legal framework that lets drugs be imported into this country, but only by pharmaceutical companies in a way that keeps prices inflated here in the United States. Evidently, free trade is only OK when it allows corporations to troll the world for horrible labor and environmental standards - but not OK when it might help the average consumer. And evidently, the FDA is far less interested in the safety of consumers than in the safety of drug industry profits.
UPDATE: Huffington Post (disagreeing with the Hill) suggests that passage of this amendment might actually hurt the prospects for the underlying health care bill. It's anyone's guess if that's true. However, here's the key point: The only way that is true is if passage of the underlying bill is predicated on an even more deeply corrupt secret deal between the White House and the drug industry - a deal that would be undermined by this progressive legislation. In other words, those arguing that killing this amendment is progressive because it (allegedly) moves forward the underlying health care bill are accepting the premise that it is progressive to respect a secret and even more corrupt drug industry deal. How friggin' sick is that?