Left Menu
Development News Edition

Democrats take aim as Trump abandons drug pricing plan

Reuters | Updated: 13-07-2019 16:08 IST | Created: 13-07-2019 15:37 IST
Democrats take aim as Trump abandons drug pricing plan

Democrats see U.S. President Donald Trump becoming increasingly vulnerable to criticism about healthcare costs after the administration's decision to scrap a proposal to lower drug prices, and 2020 White House candidates are rushing to seize the spotlight on the issue.

The debate over the future of the American healthcare system has become a focal point of the Democratic presidential nominating contest. As Trump has failed to make strides to remedy the problem, Democrats are becoming more vocal. Some Democrats have been making big promises on healthcare, vowing to sweeping overhauls and complete government takeovers.

But even candidates like U.S. Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who would abolish private health insurance, are wading into the debate about lowering costs for consumers buying drugs in the current market. Trump talked regularly about drug prices during his 2016 campaign, but has failed so far to deliver the changes he promised.

On Thursday his administration scrapped one of its most ambitious proposals for lowering prescription medicine prices, backing down from a policy aimed at health insurers and raising the possibility of new measures focused on drugmakers. The abandoned proposal would have required health insurers to pass billions of dollars in rebates from drugmakers to Medicare patients.

Drug prices directly affect consumers, making it a more pressing concern for voters than debates over the structure of the healthcare system, said Robert Blendon, a political scientist at Harvard University who researches public opinion on healthcare. Blendon said Trump, having failed to broker any deals in Congress, made his drug price plan too complicated, and voters are unlikely to see him as having made any strides. That is an opportunity for Democrats to offer their own effort at messaging.

A study Blendon produced earlier this year found that given a list of problems, nine out of 10 Americans chose the price of prescription drugs as an extremely important issue. But voters' concerns do not extend to the stability or structure of government, with only 25% saying they are concerned about the stability of Medicare.

"Whoever gains anything politically out of this is going to have to talk about this (so that) it sounds like you understand," Blendon said. "It really is a pocketbook issue." On Thursday, U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand unveiled a plan to lower drug prices. On Friday, Democrat Amy Klobuchar announced a plan to help lower the cost of pharmaceuticals purchased by seniors. Warren also has a Medicare pricing plan.

Sanders is heading to Canada later this month for an event to highlight the difference in the price of insulin. Blendon said it was becoming obvious to candidates like Sanders that they cannot peg their entire healthcare message to arguing for a universal system.

"Medicare for all is not a top issue for older voters," Blendon said. Klobuchar's proposal, which includes investing in research for a cure for Alzheimer's disease and improving the stability of Social Security, would allow the government to negotiate Medicare Part D costs, which cover prescriptions for seniors.

Klobuchar, a U.S. senator from Minnesota, would also let people order prescription drugs from countries like Canada, proposal proponents say would lower costs. Blendon said import changes are the most popular with voters, who fail to see how drugs from Canada or England are any riskier than ones made in the United States.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Download The Devdiscourse News App for Latest News.



Aviation post-COVID 19: Hard time ahead of getting people back on planes

The sweeping travel restrictions have largely brought international travel to a halt and domestic travel is also facing a huge number of cancellations as billions of people are ordered to stay inside their homes as part of strict lock-downs...

All party meeting - Blocking dialogue not culture of Bengal, Mamata needs to speak up

If that happens, history will record it as the dark age of Bengal....


Latest News

Encounter underway in J-K's Gulabad

An encounter is underway in Gulabad area of Sopore in Baramulla district.22 Rashtriya Rifles, Sopore Police and 179 Central Reserve Police Force CRPF are carrying out the operation.More details are currently awaited. ANI...

China reports 62 new COVID-19 cases as mainland creeps back to life

China on Tuesday reported 62 positive cases of novel coronavirus out of which 59 were migrated and three domestic cases. Two more deaths have been reported in the mainland, one in Hubei province and the other one in Shanghai, according to C...

Hong Kong extends social distancing restrictions to contain coronavirus

Hong Kong said on Wednesday social-distancing restrictions including the closure of some bars and pubs and a ban on public gatherings of more than four people would be extended until April 23 as it battles to halt the spread of coronavirus....

Transporters say face problem supplying essential goods, only 15 pc trucks are on roads

Transporters are finding difficult to streamline the supply chain of the essential goods with only 15 per cent of trucks on the road due to the coronavirus lockdown, the national body of transporters All India Motor Transport Congress AIMTC...

Give Feedback