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Trump says he'll sign order cutting drug prices 'very soon'

Olivia Raimonde and Jennifer Jacobs, Bloomberg News on

Published in News & Features

WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump said he plans to sign a "very inclusive" health care plan "very soon" -- perhaps as soon as Sunday -- that will result in Americans paying significantly less for pharmaceutical drugs.

"I want what's right for the people," he said Friday at a news briefing in Florida. "We're going to bring our drug prices down to levels that nobody ever thought possible."

Trump described on Friday a "favored nations" plan under which his administration would take the country that has the lowest drug prices as the yardstick for what Americans should be charged.

While he provided few other details, on July 24, Trump announced plans for executive orders to lower prescription drug prices under Medicare by linking them to rates paid in other countries and allowing Americans to buy medication imported from Canada.

He's been seeking to repair his standing on health care issues, particularly with senior voters. Polls have shown sentiment is souring over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and efforts to eliminate the Affordable Care Act without having a ready replacement.

McLaughlin & Associates, a consulting and polling firm, produced a memo Wednesday for Republican leaders saying that "price transparency is a winning issue in key battleground states."

 

The memo, co-authored by the firm's chief executive officer, John McLaughlin, said Republicans need to show what they stand for on health care. Voters got the message that the Republicans want to repeal Obamacare but they don't know what the party supports, according to the memo.

"You can't beat something with nothing," according to the memo. "We now have an alternative that is a winning solution -- one that received broader and deeper public support than Medicare for All."

Republicans in "tough races" are backing transparency legislation and it's popular with voters, according to the McLaughlin memo, whose second author is David Kochel of Redwave Communications, a consulting firm in Des Moines, Iowa.

"As veterans of dozens of local, state and national campaigns, we've rarely seen an issue with such compelling numbers across partisan lines," the memo says.

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