While Trump Sides With Big Pharma, Pingree and Golden Deliver Win For Working Families
Following the U.S. House of Representatives' passage of H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, Maine Democratic Party Chair Kathleen Marra released the following statement:
“Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden worked tirelessly to deliver this critical victory for working Maine families. They’ve proudly fought for the countless Mainers struggling to afford skyrocketing prescription drug prices. Meanwhile, Donald Trump has chosen to side with pharmaceutical lobbyists, blocking meaningful action and handing billions to massive drug companies. In the Republican-controlled Senate, Mitch McConnell, backed by Susan Collins, is also blocking meaningful action by indicating he will refuse to even consider taking up the bill. Mainers deserve better than Trump’s broken promises, and Democrats are showing the way forward.”
BACKGROUND ON TRUMP’S BROKEN PROMISES ON DRUG PRICES
Promise: Trump repeatedly called for Medicare to be able to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies to lower drug prices.
- "Like for instance, drugs with Medicare they don't bid them out. They don't bid them. They pay like this wholesale incredible number, hundreds of -- they say like $300 billion could be saved, if we bid them out. We don't do it. Why? Because of the drug companies, folks." [Campaign Rally, Farmington, NH, 1/25/16]
- “We’re going to change our whole purchasing procedure. For instance, the purchase of drugs. The drug companies have a tremendously powerful lobby. We don’t negotiate properly. We would save so much money with proper negotiation.” [Campaign Rally, Charlotte NC, 10/14/16]
- “The other thing we have to do is create new bidding procedures for the drug industry, because they're getting away with murder, pharma. Pharma has a lot of lobbies, a lot of lobbyists, a lot of power. And there's very little bidding on drugs.” [Press Conference, New York NY, 1/11/17]
Reality: Less than two weeks into his term, Trump abandoned his campaign pledge and capitulated to drug companies’ demands after a single meeting with pharmaceutical lobbyists.
- Vox: “After Meeting With Pharma Lobbyists, Trump Drops Promise To Negotiate Drug Prices”
- The Washington Post: “President Trump will break another promise Friday afternoon when he unveils his plan for lowering the cost of prescription drugs, backing off his campaign trial pledge to use the government's power to negotiate them for Medicare. And that means he's selling out to the drug companies, according to none other than Trump himself.”