Popular vote loser Donald Trump made a lot of promises during the campaign, touting his superior powers as a negotiator. He was going to make all the deals. He was going to bring big pharma to its knees, forcing it to negotiate Medicare drug prices. Then he met big pharma, and folded like his ill-fitting suit.
Today, after a meeting with pharmaceutical industry lobbyists and executives, he abandoned that pledge, referring to an idea he supported as recently as three weeks ago as a form of “price fixing” that would hurt “smaller, younger companies.” Instead of getting tough, Trump’s new plan is that he’s “going to be lowering taxes” and “getting rid of regulations.” […]
As recently as January 11, President-elect Trump was promising to revisit this policy.
"Pharma has a lot of lobbies, a lot of lobbyists and a lot of power. And there's very little bidding on drugs," he said at a press conference at Trump Tower in Manhattan. "We're the largest buyer of drugs in the world, and yet we don't bid properly."
Today he apparently changed his mind. According to Herb Jackson, the designated pool reporter for the day, Trump's new policy on prescription drugs is that drug companies should get tax cuts and deregulation.
Here's what he said: "I'll oppose anything that makes it harder for smaller, younger companies to take the risk of bringing their product to a vibrantly competitive market. That includes price-fixing by the biggest dog in the market, Medicare, which is what's happening. But we can increase competition and bidding wars, big time." That makes no sense, compared to what he’s previously said about Medicare—either Medicare is “price-fixing” (?) or it’s not bidding “properly.” Those things aren’t the same. Further, here's what he said about how he’s going to fix pharma now, apparently to save money for the government (?): "We're going to be lowering taxes, we're going to be getting rid of regulations that are unnecessary."
Competition through corporate tax cuts and deregulation, at the cost of people on Medicare, which is pretty much Paul Ryan's wet dream. As for Medicare price-fixing, who knows what he means, but it's probably this: "someone, somewhere, probably tried to explain formularies to him. (I suspect it didn't take.)" Trump doesn't have to worry about things like what prescription drugs his plan will cover (chances are, his doctor just has a stash he dispenses directly from and there's no need for dealing with pesky pharmacies or insurance).