Two Trump administration efforts to lower drug prices fail in one week


Even if the two efforts hadn't fallen through, they probably wouldn't have done much to lower prescription drug prices.

Trump's vow to lower prescription drug prices is proving to be yet another broken promise. Just this week, two White House efforts to lower drug prices have gone down in flames.

On Tuesday, a federal court blocked a Trump administration rule requiring drug makers to include the price of their product in television ads. In the ruling, a federal judge said the Trump administration exceeded its authority because Congress had not authorized such a measure.

Even if the rule hadn't been struck down, it may have been mere window-dressing without any real impact. There was no enforcement mechanism, according to NPR, and no proof that such a measure would even lower drug prices.

The White House followed up that failure by announcing on Thursday that they are scrapping an effort to eliminate industry rebates in Medicare, according to the Washington Post.

Infighting between officials at Health and Human Services (HHS) and the White House ended up tanking the proposal, the Post reported. Some at the White House opposed the cost of such a rule, which may have cost as much as $180 billion over the next decade, and officials couldn't agree on whether the policy would even be effective.

The White House failures come the same week that a Trump-backed lawsuit seeking to destroy the Affordable Care Act (ACA) had a hearing in federal court. If Trump and Republicans get their wish, the ACA and all its protections will go away, leaving 20 million Americans without health insurance. A ruling against the ACA would also kill its most popular and important provisions, like guaranteed protections for people with preexisting conditions.

As the White House stumbles and falters, Democrats in the House of Representatives have banded together to address the issue of higher prescription drug costs.

In May, the House passed a measure aimed at tackling higher drug costs, overcoming opposition from 183 Republicans.

"We've seen repeated and ongoing attempts by President Trump and Congressional Republicans to sabotage the Affordable Care Act and threaten access to care for families across the country," Rep. Annie Kuster (D-NH) told Shareblue Media at that time. She said the Democratic response to these sabotage attempts includes "advancing legislation to lower the costs of care and prescription drugs while at the same time stabilizing our health care system."

When it comes to health care, all Trump has managed to do is increase the cost of it for millions of Americans.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.