Overnight Healthcare: Trump wants Medicare to negotiate drug prices

Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump must expose Hillary's dark side MSNBC anchor apologies to GOP official after testy interview Clinton releases ad blasting Trump's appeals to black voters MORE is calling for Medicare to be able to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies to lower drug prices, a policy long backed by Democrats and opposed by Republicans.

The Republican presidential candidate told a crowd in Farmington, N.H., Monday night that the policy would save billions of dollars before taking a shot at pharmaceutical companies, which strongly oppose the proposal.

"We don't do it. Why? Because of the drug companies," Trump said, according to The Associated Press.

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Democratic candidates Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonTrump must expose Hillary's dark side MSNBC anchor apologies to GOP official after testy interview Clinton releases ad blasting Trump's appeals to black voters MORE and Bernie SandersBernie SandersBeyond Trump and Hillary: What it really takes to transform election Leaked emails show Clinton, Dems split on linking Trump to GOP Trump pushes Clinton's 'super-predators' remark MORE, as well as President Obama, have called for the same policy of letting Medicare negotiate prices, which it is currently banned from doing under the 2003 Medicare prescription drug law. The Democratic candidates have both bashed the drug companies on the stump.

Trump has already broken from Republican orthodoxy on one other major healthcare issue this campaign, defending his past support for single-payer healthcare, long a dream of liberals.

"As far as single payer, it works in Canada," Trump said at a Republican debate in August. "It works incredibly well in Scotland. It could have worked in a different age." Read more here. http://bit.ly/1WMNNLb

SANDERS PUTS HOLD ON OBAMA'S FDA PICK: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is formally blocking President Obama's pick to lead the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after announcing his opposition late last year.  

"Dr. [Robert] Califf's extensive ties to the pharmaceutical industry give me no reason to believe that he would make the FDA work for ordinary Americans, rather than just the CEOs of pharmaceutical companies," Sanders, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, said Tuesday.

He added that he's placed a hold on Califf's nomination because "we need a leader at the FDA who is prepared to stand up to drug companies."

Sander's announcement comes a day after Sen. Ed MarkeyEd Markey'Power problem' grounds southern Florida flights Dem senator criticizes Facebook, Instagram for gun sales Apple, Google enlisted for FCC robocall effort MORE (D-Mass.) said that he would block Califf's nomination until the agency changes its approval process for opioid painkillers.

Read more here. http://bit.ly/23rhKF8

RUBIO 'DISTURBED' BY ACTIVISTS' INDICTMENT Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioAnalysis: Clinton speaks at higher grade level than Trump Trump poised to betray primary supporters on immigration Senate Dems' campaign arm knocks GOP for Trump support MORE (R-Fla.) says that he's bothered by a the surprise indictments of two individuals who claimed to expose Planned Parenthood, suggesting that the organization itself should have faced charges.

"I'm disturbed," the GOP presidential candidate told CNN on Monday night after a grand jury in Houston announced the criminal charges against anti-abortion activists David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt.

"We'll need to learn more, but I'm disturbed that while Planned Parenthood, who are the ones that were actually selling off these parts were found having done nothing wrong, the people who tried to expose them are the ones that are now facing criminal charges," Rubio said. Read more here. http://bit.ly/1S96GJj

2016 AGENDA – CONFRONTING OPIOID EPIDEMIC? In a meeting on Tuesday between Obama and top Democratic leaders, the nation's growing opioid epidemic emerged as an area of potential bipartisan collaboration.

Obama met with Vice President Biden, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidMcConnell: Senate won't take up TPP this year Politicians can’t afford to ignore Latinos Trump poised to betray primary supporters on immigration MORE, and will discuss the agenda at a Democratic conference on Thursday.

TOMORROW'S SCHEDULE:

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy will speak at an event hosted by the NBA and Kaiser Permanente.

WHAT WE'RE READING:

Three ways a Republican president could dismantle ObamaCare short of repeal (Washington Post)

What the U.S. and Bernie Sanders can learn from Canada's single-payer system (Mic)

Sanders's role in the Affordable Care Act (Talking Points Memo)

IN THE STATES:

Eleven states have cleared Planned Parenthood of wrongdoing (Washington Post)

New York's ObamaCare exchanges raise concerns from S&P (Times Union)

Planned Parenthood critics trapped themselves (Texas Tribune)

ICYMI FROM THE HILL:

Anti-abortion leaders urge 'anyone but Trump.'

Send tips and comments to Sarah Ferris, sferris@thehill.com, and Peter Sullivan, psullivan@thehill.com. Follow us on Twitter: @thehill@sarahnferris@PeterSullivan4