Trump brags about lowering drug costs after vowing to veto bill that would do just that


The bipartisan, House-passed H.R. 3 would lower drug costs for all Americans.

Donald Trump boasted this week that he had made a deal to lower drug costs for seniors taking insulin — despite rejecting legislation in December that would cut prescription drug costs for everyone.

On Tuesday, Trump announced a new Medicare prescription drug plan that would cap insulin costs at $35 per month, adding that he hopes "seniors are going to remember it," in November.

The White House noted that 3 million seniors on Medicare take insulin. A top health care official said seniors would save about 66% on insulin with the new plan.

While seniors may see the cost of one prescription drug come down, however, Trump has threatened to veto H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, which would do the same for all Americans.

The bill, which passed the House with a bipartisan majority in December, would limit out-of-pocket costs for Medicare participants, allow everyone to benefit from Medicare drug price negotiations, and would prevent companies from hiking the price of some drugs.

A January analysis by the House Ways and Means Committee showed that H.R. 3 would drop the costs of some prescription drugs by as much as 96%.

For example, the legislation would reduce the cost of Humira, an arthritis drug, by 81%, from $34,411 per year to $8,276 per year.

Premarin, a drug to fight breast cancer, would drop in cost by 96%, from $568 to just $21 per year. The bill would also lower the cost of medication for diabetes and multiple sclerosis among other conditions.

Advocates also noted this week that Trump is still currently waging war on the Affordable Care Act, which would kick millions off of their health insurance.

"If the President is serious about helping senior citizens being crushed by skyrocketing drug prices, he'll stop blocking bipartisan House-passed legislation to lower drug costs and he'll drop his House-Republican-backed lawsuit to rip health care away from millions of Americans amid a global pandemic," Darwin Pham, a spokesperson for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said in an email on Wednesday.

Pham was referring to a GOP-backed lawsuit in federal court that is seeking to overturn the ACA. Trump supports the lawsuit, which could force 20 million people to lose their health insurance, including some of the 1.9 million Americans with diabetes who rely on the law to be able to afford insulin.

Trump has maintained his support for that lawsuit even as the nation faces a health crisis that has left more than 100,000 Americans dead.

"Obamacare is a disaster," he claimed, before suggesting he had made it "barely acceptable."

Trump has in fact undermined several key components of the ACA, threatening people's ability to access health care despite majority support for the law.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.