Tags: Healthcare Reform | cummings | trump | medicare | reduce | drug | prices

Elijah Cummings: Trump 'Enthusiastic' on Giving Medicare More Power on Drug Prices

Image: Elijah Cummings: Trump 'Enthusiastic' on Giving Medicare More Power on Drug Prices
Rep. Elijah Cummings (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 08 Mar 2017 07:32 PM

Rep. Elijah Cummings said that President Donald Trump was "enthusiastic" about legislation that he was co-authoring to give the federal government more power to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies to keep medical costs down for Americans.

"What we have is a lot of companies, pharmaceutical companies, that are raising the prices of drugs unreasonably," the Maryland Democrat told Wolf Blitzer on CNN. "You go to a drug store in January, it's $100. You go back a month later, it's $600. We see it over and over again.

"A lot of these drug companies are doing it because they can do it.

"Right now, we've got Medicare paying sometimes 70 percent more than the VA or Medicaid," Cummings said. "That's ridiculous.

"The president made a commitment today — as a matter of fact, he's enthusiastic about it — on a piece of legislation that we will file in two weeks."

Cummings is working on the bill with two Vermont legislators, the independent Sen. Bernie Sanders and Democrat Rep. Peter Welch.

The two House members met with Trump at the White House for about an hour Wednesday.

Under current law, Medicare is barred from negotiating directly with drug companies — and Republicans have long opposed Democratic efforts to change the regulation.

"I warned him he will not get much cooperation from his friends in the Congress," Cummings said of Trump. "He said it didn't matter for him.

"He wanted to do something for the citizens in Baltimore and the citizens in Ohio. He wanted to make a difference for them."

Trump later tweeted about the meeting:

Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, dismissed Trump's allegations that he was wire-tapped by former President Barack Obama — telling Blitzer that the dust-up may cause him to be more careful about his Twitter use.

"What this may do is cause the president to hesitate more when he gets ready to start tweeting," he said. "We have limited government resources, we have limited government personnel — and to have these kind of allegations circulating is very unfortunate.

"But hopefully, we will get to the bottom of this," Cummings said. "I expect that there is absolutely no truth to it."

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Rep. Elijah Cummings said that President Donald Trump was enthusiastic about legislation that he was co-authoring to give the federal government more power to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies to keep medical costs down for Americans. What we have is a...
cummings, trump, medicare, reduce, drug, prices
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2017-32-08
Wednesday, 08 Mar 2017 07:32 PM
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