Vermont Business Magazine Representative Peter Welch (D-Vermont), a lead sponsor of legislation in the House to mandate Medicare price negotiation, issued the following statement in reaction to President Trump’s announcement this afternoon on prescription drug pricing. Welch and Representative Elijah Cummings (D-Md) met with President Trump in the Oval Office on March 8, 2017, to discuss their price negotiation bill. Welch is a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee and the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Welch: “The American people should not be fooled by this October health care surprise. It falls far short of the significant and urgent relief from price gouging President Trump promised during his campaign when he railed against drug companies for ‘getting away with murder.’ At the time, he enthusiastically embraced the use of the federal government’s bargaining power to negotiate a better deal on drugs for seniors. And in our Oval Office meeting three months after his inauguration, he doubled down on his support for Medicare price negotiation as well as the safe importation of prescription drugs.
“That was then, this is now. Twenty-one months later, and on the eve of the mid-term elections, the president is proposing a small step on drug price relief when a giant leap is urgently needed. Instead of nibbling around the edges, he should demand in his State of the Union speech that Congress send to his desk within 30 days a broad price negotiation bill that applies to all drugs in the Medicare program. Doing so would break the grip of Big PHARMA on Congress and provide real price relief for millions of consumers. If he does so, I am confident it would pass with strong bipartisan support.”
The White House statement said, in part: "Today, the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) released a report outlining how the Trump Administration’s policies at the Department of Health and Human Services and the Food and Drug Administration have helped decrease the prices of prescription drugs for American patients. Read the full report here."
Source: Welch 10.25.2018