Senate health committee to hold hearing on Trump drug pricing plan

Senate health committee to hold hearing on Trump drug pricing plan
© Greg Nash

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump mocks wind power: 'When the wind doesn't blow, just turn off the television' Pentagon investigator probing whether acting chief boosted former employer Boeing Trump blasts McCain, bemoans not getting 'thank you' for funeral MORE's top health official will testify at a Senate hearing next month about the president’s proposal to reduce prescription drug costs.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar will testify at the June 12 Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing, the first time lawmakers will publicly examine Trump’s plan, which was unveiled earlier this month.

Committee Chairman Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderThe next step for justice reform: Ending the ban on federal Pell Grants for eligible students behind bars Senate GOP poised to go 'nuclear' on Trump picks Overnight Health Care: Survey finds 1 in 10 ration medicines to lower costs | Senate Dems call for hearing on Trump abortion rule | Trump health chief backs needle exchanges | Outgoing FDA chief keeps heat on e-cig maker MORE (R-Tenn.) did not indicate whether the hearing will result in legislation.

According to Trump, the administration can tackle many of the proposals on its own. But some more significant changes — like how Medicare pays for drugs — could require Congress.

Democrats have attacked Trump’s proposals for not going far enough. For example, his plan does not include a call for Medicare to negotiate drug prices directly.

Separately, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradySmaller tax refunds put GOP on defensive Key author of GOP tax law joins Ernst and Young Lawmakers beat lobbyists at charity hockey game MORE (R-Texas) said last week that he also intends to hold hearings on Trump’s drug pricing plan.

Most observers don’t expect Congress to take major action on a contentious issue like drug prices in an election year, but the hearings indicate there could at least be some discussion of the issue in Congress.