2. Ryan on the line
House Speaker Paul Ryan told me in a phone interview yesterday that he wants to "have more conversations about" Trump's plan to confront drug companies over their pricing, forcing them to compete for government business. "I believe that the current premium support system with Part D works extremely well," Ryan said. "I think there's some real success stories … and I think we need to tell that story."
Including to the president-elect?
"A lot of people," Ryan replied. "I think [HHS nominee] Tom Price understands this issue extremely well."
Pressed about Trump's blast in Friday's WSJ interview that pharma companies are "politically protected, but not anymore," Ryan said: "I don't speak like that, generally speaking. I'm always looking for win-win situations, and I believe there's a lot more we can do to bring down the price of drugs."
I asked Ryan — who was calling from his district office in Janesville, Wis. — if he thinks that NATO is obsolete. Ryan said with a chuckle: "I'm sure he said something that you're trying to wedge me on right now." I replied: "No, he said NATO is 'obsolete.' It's not a trick."
Ryan replied: "Oh, I've been doing meetings with constituents all day. … I think NATO is indispensable and invaluable, and an enormously important contributor to world peace and stability. I think one of the issues that he's trying to get at, which I completely agree with, is people need to meet their [commitment to spend 2% of GDP on defense], and I think he's trying to give voice to that concern."