At the first presidential debate, Donald Trump made the outrageous claim that insulin is now “as cheap as water” for most Americans thanks to his administration’s policies. Not only have insulin prices not decreased at all during Trump’s presidency, but his administration has failed to make any significant progress in curbing prescription drug costs.
Despite Trump’s many promises that he’d lower drug prices, prescription drug prices have grown faster than any other commodity or service since he took office. In 2018, they increased more than twice as fast as inflation. In 2019 alone, prescription drug prices rose by an average of 8.2%. And one study found drug prices have increased by an average of 23.8% since the pandemic began earlier this year.
Instead of taking significant actions to curb the rising costs of prescription drugs, Trump has repeatedly caved to big pharma. He opted to not have the federal government negotiate with pharmaceutical companies for lower drug prices. He abandoned an effort to require drug manufacturers to pass discounts down to consumers. And even when he did sign an executive order meant to “dramatically reduce the cost of prescription drugs,” the orders were largely symbolic and accomplished nothing.
To make matters even worse, Trump is now suing to strike down the Affordable Care Act. One estimate found that many older Americans would have to pay $2,000 more per year in prescription drug costs if the ACA were repealed. Yet the Trump administration is suing to overturn the signature health care law in a case that will be heard by the Supreme Court just one week after the election, and he has provided no alternative plan to replace it.
“If Donald Trump will flagrantly lie about the price of insulin, why should Mainers trust that he will take any meaningful actions to curb the skyrocketing prices of prescription drugs in a second term?” said Maine Democratic Party Chair Kathleen Marra. “The truth is, Trump has had four years to follow through on his promises to lower prescription drug prices, but all we’ve gotten is broken promises, predictable caves to big pharma, and repeated efforts to raise drug prices for older Mainers by dismantling the Affordable Care Act. We can’t afford another four years of Trump.”