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 TrumpA better VA, with mental health services, is essential for America's veterans Pelosi, Nadler tangle on impeachment, contempt vote Trump arrives in Japan to kick off 4-day state visit 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 AlexanderOvernight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Senators unveil sweeping bipartisan health care package | House lawmakers float Medicare pricing reforms | Dems offer bill to guarantee abortion access Bipartisan senators reveal sweeping health care package Collins offering bill to boost battery research as GOP pushes energy 'innovation' 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 BradyHouse votes to boost retirement savings Democrats seize on IRS memo in Trump tax battle Oil companies join blitz for carbon tax 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.