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Congressional Dems Offer Legislation to Lower Medicare Drug Prices

Allowing the federal government to negotiate drug prices was a key part of the Democratic agenda to lower pharmaceutical costs and was a key talking point in the 2018 elections. Now it seems as if some Dems, especially those running for president, are taking aim at rising drug costs for the nation's seniors. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), a potential presidential candidate; Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), a declared presidential candidate; and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), who is not running for president, introduced a bill to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices. Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), chairman of the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, introduced a similar bill in the House with 108 original Democratic cosponsors, none of whom is openly considering a run for the White House. The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine recently endorsed the proposal, which polling indicates is heavily supported by the general public as well.

President Trump has at times seemed to support allowing the federal government to negotiate drug prices while at other times has been lukewarm on the subject. Given the exclusive Democratic support so far for the bills in their present form, it is unlikely either bill would be approved by the Senate, where Republicans maintain control.