GOP senators have drawn a line where they disagree with President Trump — and it’s over drug pricing reforms.

GOP balks at Trump drug pricing plan

GOP balks at Trump drug pricing plan

President Trump and his Republican allies in Congress are not quite on the same page when it comes to his plan to lower drug prices.

What’s the issue? Trump in October proposed lowering some Medicare drug prices by tying them to lower prices paid in other countries. But that is far too close to price controls for many GOP lawmakers.

The reaction:

  • A spokesperson for Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who will take over the Senate Finance Committee chairmanship in January, told The Hill the Iowa senator has concerns the proposal would impose “price controls.”
  • Current Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) is talking to other GOP senators about writing a letter to the administration sharing their concerns about the proposal.
  • On Thursday, House GOP lawmakers questioned Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar about the move and aired their concerns in a private meeting.

HHS says it’s pushing forward: Asked if the administration intends to stand by the proposal, an HHS spokesperson said: “[We] absolutely intend to proceed.”

The department said Azar “welcomed” the opportunity to meet with GOP lawmakers on Thursday and “dispel some of the myths about the rule put forward by the industry that wishes to continue charging American patients more for their products.”

Remember the history: A somewhat similar proposal under former President Obama in 2016 was ultimately withdrawn in the face of industry and congressional opposition. Backers of this proposal will be working to make sure it doesn’t meet the same fate.

Read more about the GOP split here.

%d bloggers like this: