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.

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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 SandersIraq War looms over Trump battle with Iran 2020 Dems break political taboos by endorsing litmus tests Iowa Democrats brace for caucus turnout surge MORE (I-Vt.) and Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiTrump rips Dems' demands, impeachment talk: 'Witch Hunt continues!' The Hill's Morning Report - Pelosi remains firm despite new impeachment push The Memo: Trump allies see impeachment push backfiring on Democrats 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 GardnerSenate Republicans running away from Alabama abortion law Frustrated GOP senators want answers from Trump on Iran Graham: Trump officials not adequately briefing on Iran threat MORE (R-Colo.) and Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisCollins offering bill to boost battery research as GOP pushes energy 'innovation' Lawmakers call for investigation after census hired registered sex offender Dem Senate campaign arm hits GOP lawmakers over Trump tax law 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.