Kaiser Health News, March 9, 2017
Sarah Jane Tribble

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For years, congressional Democrats have tried to pass legislation to allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices for millions of beneficiaries.

Now, they believe they have a not-so-secret weapon: President Donald Trump.

On Wednesday, U.S. Reps. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Peter Welch (D-Vt.) met privately for about an hour with Trump and newly appointed Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price to discuss ways to combat high drug prices. They were joined by Johns Hopkins Hospital President Redonda Miller.

The congressmen pitched a House bill that would expand the federal government’s ability to negotiate drug prices, and they left feeling optimistic about what Trump will do.

“He made it clear to us that he wanted to do something,” Cummings said, characterizing Trump as “aware of the problem” and “enthusiastic.” Cummings is ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. [...]

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