GOP group launches $2.9M ad campaign against Medicare negotiating drug prices

GOP group launches $2.9M ad campaign against Medicare negotiating drug prices
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A leading GOP-aligned group is launching a $2.9 million ad campaign to fight back against calls to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices.

The ad campaign from the American Action Network (AAN) targets 46 Republican House lawmakers and 11 Republican senators, calling on them not to break ranks and join the Democratic proposal.

The mail, print and digital ad campaign comes as efforts to lower drug prices ramp up. While members of both parties are calling for action, Republicans have still largely steered clear of the signature Democratic proposal to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices directly.

“Government interference will limit seniors’ choices in Medicare Part D” reads a mail ad from the group, next to photos of Sen. Bernie SandersBernie Sanders2020 candidates have the chance to embrace smarter education policies Bernie Sanders Adviser talks criminal justice reform proposal, 'Medicare for All' plan Poll shows Biden, Warren tied with Trump in Arizona MORE (I-Vt.) and Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiCutting tariffs is better than cutting payroll taxes to boost the economy Pelosi speaks with Israeli president after Trump controversy In debate over internet speech law, pay attention to whose voices are ignored MORE (D-Calif.).

The GOP lawmakers being targeted include some of the more vulnerable GOP senators up for reelection in 2020, such as Sens. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump touts new immigration policy, backtracks on tax cuts Hickenlooper announces Senate bid Poll: Trump trails three Democrats by 10 points in Colorado MORE (R-Colo.) and Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisThe United States broken patent system is getting worse Gun reform groups to pressure GOP senators with rallies in all 50 states To cash in on innovation, remove market barriers for advanced energy technologies MORE (R-N.C.).   

“Liberal politicians are pushing harder than ever to bring government bureaucrats between seniors and their doctors with plans that would restrict access to medicines in the Medicare Part D Program,” Dan Conston, AAN’s president, said in a statement. “We encourage seniors to call their Members of Congress and tell them to keep fighting bureaucratic inference in Medicare Part D."

Opponents of Medicare negotiating drug prices argue that the idea will only work if the government has the power to exclude coverage of certain drugs, in order to gain leverage in the negotiations. They say the government should not be deciding which drugs are covered.

Proponents say Medicare using its negotiating power will bring down drug costs that are unacceptably high.