House Dems slam Trump's 'betrayal' on drug pricing

House Dems slam Trump's 'betrayal' on drug pricing
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Two House Democrats who met with President Trump earlier this year to discuss prescription drug pricing slammed the president Wednesday for not making good on his promise to lower the high cost of such drugs.

In a letter to Trump, Reps. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Peter WelchPeter Francis WelchEx-rep. is still costing taxpayers billions in prescription fees Senators offer bill to close rural-urban internet divide Clinton mulls role in 2018 midterms MORE (D-Vt.) criticized the president for doing nothing to help lower drug costs.

The letter comes as the White House is reportedly preparing an executive order on drug prices that could be industry friendly.

Welch and Cummings met with Trump in the Oval Office in March to discuss legislation that would allow Medicare to negotiate directly with drug companies to lower prices, a policy Trump campaigned on. The lawmakers said they left that meeting feeling hopeful that the president would embrace their legislation.

But since that meeting, “we have heard nothing more from you" or Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, the lawmakers wrote. They said if the reports about the executive order are true, “this would be a betrayal of the very people who supported you and rely on you to make good on your promises.”

By calling for Medicare to negotiate drug prices, Trump broke with his party. But since he took office, Trump has yet to endorse any such legislation and has made no public comments on the matter. 

Cummings and Welch have been some of the most vocal proponents of drug pricing reforms in the House. In their letter, they reminded Trump of his heated campaign rhetoric that drug companies are “getting away with murder.”

“Your statements and your promises gave many of us hope, but your planned executive actions suggest that you have abandoned these promises in favor of the very pharmaceutical lobby you warned of,” Cummings and Welch wrote.

The lawmakers called for Trump to intervene with the internal drug pricing working group and direct them to “embrace the aggressive reform desperately needed by Americans — which you promised in your campaign — rather than the steps they are reportedly considering at the behest of the pharmaceutical industry."