Skip to main content

President Trump Expected to Talk About Drug Prices in the State of the Union: Here is What You Need to Know About His Record and His Latest False Promise

By February 4, 2020No Comments

Washington, DC — The administration is signaling that President Trump may talk about drug prices and propose that HHS consider issuing a rule to bring U.S. drug prices more in line with international pricing. Independent experts have already described the proposal as weak and unlikely to have any real impact for consumers for years to come. 

Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach issued the following statement:

“Once again, President Trump will likely lie about his health care record and make another false promise to the American people. His latest rumored announcement is nothing more than a proposal for a proposal for a proposal. Even under the most optimistic timeline, this policy wouldn’t take effect for years and Americans would likely only see a modest benefit if any at all. Meanwhile the president gave billions of dollars in tax breaks to drug companies and opposes giving Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices, the one proven way to lower costs for millions.”

  • Although Trump campaigned on a promise to let Medicare “negotiate like crazy” for drug prices, he promised to veto House Democrats’ bill that would empower the federal health care program to do exactly that: directly negotiate with drug makers over the price of up to 250 drugs.
  • President Trump’s latest proposal lacks an enforcement mechanism and the potential savings are “murkier” than the administration claims. 
  • President Trump’s plan would likely take years to go into effect. Per Politico: “even under the most favorable circumstances, the administration won’t be able to demonstrate any real change to consumers for years.” 
  • “It’s not in his advantage for the 2020 elections to be a mandate on his performance on health care,” said William Howell, a professor of American politics at the University of Chicago. 
  • A recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey showed that 54% of Americans disapprove of how Trump has handled the drug-cost issue, compared to just 30% who approve.
  • Republicans gave billions in tax breaks to the biggest drug companies in their 2017 tax overhaul.
  • Drug companies have already hiked the prices of 639 drugs since the beginning of 2020.