Republican FTC commissioner says she supports Medicare negotiating drug prices

Republican FTC commissioner says she supports Medicare negotiating drug prices
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A Republican member of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Thursday expressed support for Medicare negotiating drug prices, an idea typically more supported by Democrats. 

“I may touch a third rail here,” Christine Wilson, said while speaking at a health care conference in Washington. “I think part of the problem is that the federal government has not been able to negotiate under certain parts of Medicare and Medicaid for pharmaceutical prices.”

The remarks from an appointee of President TrumpDonald John TrumpSanders says he wouldn't 'drop dead' if Trump decided on universal healthcare Overnight Health Care: Trump officials lay groundwork for May reopening | Democrats ramp up talks with Mnuchin on next relief deal | Fauci says death toll could be around 60,000 Hillicon Valley: State officials push for more election funds | Coronavirus surveillance concerns ramp up pressure for privacy bill | Senators warned not to use Zoom | Agencies ask FCC to revoke China Telecom's license MORE to the FTC come amid a raging debate over high drug prices. Democrats are touting a bill the House passed in December to allow Medicare to negotiate lower prices. 

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But President Trump and Senate Republicans have rejected that bill, backing more modest alternatives. 

“The federal government, which accounts for I think a third of pharmaceutical spending, is essentially a price-taker, and that seems like a problem to me,” Wilson added at a conference hosted by the Council for Affordable Health Coverage, a coalition of health care companies and other groups. 

Democrats have been trying to increase pressure on Trump to support Medicare negotiating drug prices, pointing out that he supported the idea during his 2016 campaign, in a break with Republican orthodoxy, before backing off.