Trump officials delay price-gouging rule for drug companies

Trump officials delay price-gouging rule for drug companies
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The Trump administration this week delayed the implementation of a rule under the Affordable Care Act meant to punish drug companies for price gouging, according to a new report.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on Thursday quietly logged the delayed rollout of the rule into the federal register, Mic reports. The rule was initially set to go into effect on Sunday, but has been pushed back to next July.

The rule allows the government to punish drug companies that "knowingly and intentionally” overcharge customers with fines up to $5,000 for each instance of overcharging. In a statement, HHS said it wanted to give drug companies "sufficient time" to implement the necessary changes.

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“HHS continues to believe that the delay of the effective date provides regulated entities sufficient time to implement the requirements of the rule, as well as allowing a more deliberate process of considering alternative and supplemental regulatory provisions, and to allow for sufficient time for additional rule-making,” a spokesman for the agency told Mic.

It marked the fourth time this year that the Trump administration delayed implementation of the rule, Mic noted. 

The move came a day before Tom Price was forced to resign as HHS secretary after reports that he had spent more than $1 million in taxpayer money on military planes and private charter flights since May.