Senate health committee to hold hearing on Trump drug pricing plan

Senate health committee to hold hearing on Trump drug pricing plan
© Greg Nash

President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhite House counsel called Trump 'King Kong' behind his back: report Trump stays out of Arizona's ugly and costly GOP fight Trump claims he instructed White House counsel to cooperate with Mueller MORE's top health official will testify at a Senate hearing next month about the president’s proposal to reduce prescription drug costs.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar will testify at the June 12 Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing, the first time lawmakers will publicly examine Trump’s plan, which was unveiled earlier this month.

Committee Chairman Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderGovernor's race grabs spotlight in Tennessee primaries A single courageous senator can derail the Trump administration GOP worries trade wars will last as Trump engages in temporary tiffs MORE (R-Tenn.) did not indicate whether the hearing will result in legislation.

According to Trump, the administration can tackle many of the proposals on its own. But some more significant changes — like how Medicare pays for drugs — could require Congress.

Democrats have attacked Trump’s proposals for not going far enough. For example, his plan does not include a call for Medicare to negotiate drug prices directly.

Separately, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyTreasury releases proposed rules on major part of Trump tax law Republicans happy to let Treasury pursue 0 billion tax cut Trump weighs big tax cut for rich: report MORE (R-Texas) said last week that he also intends to hold hearings on Trump’s drug pricing plan.

Most observers don’t expect Congress to take major action on a contentious issue like drug prices in an election year, but the hearings indicate there could at least be some discussion of the issue in Congress.