Jan 11, 2017

Not so fast on drug-price negotiations

Trump called for more bidding to lower drug prices in his press conference on Wednesday, but the Senate GOP response so far:

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  • Sen. Orrin Hatch, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and thus the most prominent voice on Medicare policy in the upper chamber, has not changed his opinion. "That's dangerous because if you stifle the innovation, we could lose all kinds of therapies that are very important," he said.
  • Sen. Lindsey Graham also didn't rush to embrace the idea. "All I can say is if he can get a better deal for the American consumer, fine," he said, but, "there's gotta be some line that elected officials can't cross when it comes to pushing the private sector.
  • Sen. Johnny Isakson was a little more open to it: "We negotiate in the VA already....So it's meritorious to be considered."
  • Others were equally lukewarm

What we're watching: If Hatch can be swayed on drug negotiations, that's huge. Until then, it's pretty unlikely to go anywhere, even if a handful of rank-and-file Republicans end up siding with Trump and the majority of Democrats.

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