Pelosi introduces Medicare drug plan, exploiting Trump campaign promises and split with Republicans

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House Committee on Education and the Workforce Democrats / Flickr nancy pelosi...
House Committee on Education and the Workforce Democrats / Flickr

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has released her Medicare prescription drug plan, designed to lower soaring prices for Medicare beneficiaries and to entice Donald Trump into actually fulfilling one of his campaign promises.

The plan would allow the government to negotiate prices on as many as 250 name-brand drugs, but only requires that the government set lower prices on 25. That lower limit has worried progressives, who have been largely excluded from the development of the plan. Pelosi is meeting with the Congressional Progressive Caucus Thursday to discuss the proposal, which is designed in part to get Trump’s support and drive a wedge between him and Senate Republicans.

Sen. Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, and Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley have also introduced drug-pricing legislation. It requires rebates from drug companies if their price increases exceed inflation and also caps out-of-pocket drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries. Pelosi’s proposal includes those elements as well. It’s opposed by a lot of Republicans who say it’s akin to government price-fixing, but it has been something Trump has talked about doing.

Trump, being Trump, has been kind of all over the place on what he wants, but there’s definitely overlap with what Pelosi is proposing, including the out-of-pocket spending cap. He also endorsed the idea of government negotiating drug prices for Medicare during the 2016 campaign, an idea most Republicans staunchly oppose. Trump is the wild card here, as always. His support for the Pelosi plan could potentially force Mitch McConnell to take it up. It all depends on how much Trump thinks he needs to do something on health care to keep his promise and to distract from his attempts to destroy the Affordable Care Act. It also depends on how much sway McConnell has with him, because Moscow Mitch is not going to want to give Pelosi a win.

Pelosi’s plan would cap negotiated prices on drugs at 1.2 times the average of what other countries pay. Other elements of the Pelosi plan include an excise tax on annual gross sales of companies that refuse to negotiate, starting at 65% and increasing by 10% every quarter the company continues to be out of compliance. It also limits price increases on Medicare Part D and Part B to inflation, and restructures Part D’s financing.

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5 Comments on "Pelosi introduces Medicare drug plan, exploiting Trump campaign promises and split with Republicans"

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Mary
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Mary
You know, there are probably 10 or 15 other things we could wave under Trump’s nose, quid pro quos, that he wants for his reelection campaign. We could have him stand on Moscow Mitches head, saying that if he doesn’t get elected that Mitch is going to be brought up on ethics charges, right after Donny get’s sentenced… In fact, we should begin putting the screws to both Donny and Mitch, let them know we know that they both need another 4 years if they ever hope to get to the safety of statutes of limitation. Let them know, we… Read more »
DHG
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Statutes of Limitations can be changed at any time with new legislation.

Robert Burnett
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Robert Burnett

Nancy Pelosi better wake up, it’s business as usual here in this country. Great is she can help improve health care, but we have a major problem in this country. We have a fruit case in the White House who thinks he’s above the law, so he tells those subpoena by the House to ignore them or keep their mouths shut. What more obstruction do you need. Get your priorities straight Nancy.

David Bishop
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David Bishop

Don’t trust anything from Trump collaborator Pelosi.

fishouttaH2o
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fishouttaH2o

Sick people are the cash cow for the insurance companies. They are endlessly greedy. We must have “government price fixing” because they’ll never lower prices voluntarily. When they can charge $12,000 for one chemotherapy treatment why would they change anything? There is no moral compass or thoughts of what’s the right thing to do so they’ll have to be forced. Shame our disease management system puts profits before people.