On the campaign trail in New Hampshire this week, with the nation’s first primary contests mere days away, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump aligned himself with Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, and Nancy Pelosi on a key policy question.
Trump declared support Monday night for allowing the federal Medicare program to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies, claiming the government could “save $300 billion” a year if allowed to do so. (Experts have estimated the savings to be closer to $16 billion a year). The hotel mogul pointed to the lobbying power of those companies as the reason this doesn’t happen already.
Thus, the man who has railed against Obamacare as a “disaster” and promised to replace it with a “beautiful” private system endorsed a policy that would give the government more control over the health care market. It’s a change Democrats have demanded for more than a decade, ever since the government was barred from conducting such negotiations by a 2003 law signed by President George W. Bush.
President Obama has called for restoring this power in his past few national budget proposals, but the Republican-controlled Congress has blocked its implementation. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced a bill in September to empower the government to negotiate with drug companies. The bill would also allow people to legally import cheaper drugs from Canada, and would force pharmaceutical companies to report their research and development costs.
Though some Republicans, including Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ben Carson, have criticized the drug companies for their price hikes, they have offered few concrete policy solutions. Sen. Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush have called for loosening the rules at the Food and Drug Administration so the government approves new drugs more quickly, claiming the increased competition would lower prices.
While Trump’s comments on Medicare are out of line with his party, they are well within line with his own record. Trump has previously blasted his Republican competitors for their proposals to cut or privatize Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, calling such a move “not fair to the people that have been paying in for years.”
He has also joined Sanders in endorsing the idea of universal healthcare, saying such a policy has worked well for Canada, Scotland, and other nations. Though he has yet to lay out a concrete health care policy, he has vowed: “I can work a deal with hospitals that will be great for everybody.”
Meanwhile, leaving the government at the mercy of drug companies who can name their own prices has become a major financial burden on the government, and will continue to balloon as the nation’s largest generation retires.i can see some of the others yielding to reality and empowering agencies like FDA which tells me those they oppose EPA is strictly business like EPA but i wonder who pulled his coat and the 180 to agree with progressives did the remind him that the low information people that like his words regardless are not enough to cross the line he needs some of us who need to let that plea fall on ears with fingers in them while going la la la la.
as with almost every legislative idea we have is for the people and country their not even close but he knows that and now i think is trying to incorporate sanity with republican arrogance but oxymoron would not exist if not for the opposite and right wing left wing well you do the math.