After campaigning on a promise to negotiate drug prices for Medicare with pharmaceutical companies, President Donald Trump has backed off the idea, publicly criticizing the bill introduced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that would allow the federal government to negotiate the prices of 250 drugs.
President Trump had previously broken from Republican ideology by showing support for negotiating drug prices. Republican officials, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), had dismissed Speaker Pelosi's bill as "socialist." The president supports a more moderate bill from Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR), which does not include negotiations, but would cap seniors' out-of-pocket drug costs and limit drug price increases to the rate of inflation for Medicare beneficiaries.
While White House officials say the president is still committed to his goal of lowering drug prices for consumers, he has not proposed an alternative plan. They added that he would prefer to focus on a bill with a better chance of passing the Republican-controlled Senate.