Mitch McConnell Blocks Drug-Pricing Bill Because Reducing Drug Costs Would Hurt Big Pharma
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned Speaker Nancy Pelosi that her much-anticipated drug pricing plan is dead and will not be considered in the Senate.
McConnell (R-Ky.) ruled out any action on the bill, which would call for Medicare to negotiate drug prices for a minimum of 25 medicines and target drugs that cost the American health system the most. Pelosi rolled out the plan on Thursday to intense opposition from the drug industry, and McConnell.
“Socialist price controls will do a lot of left-wing damage to the healthcare system. And of course, we’re not going to be calling up a bill like that,” McConnell said on Thursday afternoon.
President Donald Trump on Thursday called for a bipartisan solution to high drug prices, tweeting out that he likes “Sen. Grassley’s drug pricing bill very much, and it’s great to see Speaker Pelosi’s bill today. Let’s get it done in a bipartisan way!”
In response, Pelosi ripped McConnell as an impediment to one of Trump’s top priorities.
“Senator McConnell is going to have a hard time explaining why he wants Americans to keep being ripped off by big drug companies that are charging less for the same drugs in other countries. President Trump has said that we should be negotiating prescription drug costs ‘like crazy,’ and it’s clear that Mitch McConnell is the biggest obstacle in the way,” said Henry Connelly, a spokesman for Pelosi.
McConnell said the Senate’s path forward is still “under discussion.” The GOP leader added that the Senate is still “looking at doing something on drug pricing.”
“It’s a huge government intervention in the drug marketplace, with a lot of price-setting. And the government basically pretty much taking over a private industry,” said Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), McConnell’s chief deputy. “It’s really bad policy and I think it’s dead on arrival over here.”