Trump excited about curbing Medicare drug costs, Cummings says

Posted March 10, 2017

Congressman Elijah Cummings, at long last, is set to sit down Wednesday with president Donald Trump to try to find common ground. "Fifty-eight percent of your youth is unemployed", Trump said at the time.

The trio met with Trump to pitch a bill that would allow the secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate lower drug prices for Medicare Part D beneficiaries.

"I warned him he will not get much cooperation from his friends in the Congress", Cummings said of Trump.

Cummings said that Trump was "enthusiastic about our proposal" to tackle the cost of drug prices, and he was glad to see his recent meeting with leaders from historically black college and universities.

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In the same vein, Holly Campbell of the powerful lobbying group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) pointed to a Congressional Budget Office report that said the HHS would not be able to negotiate drug prices that are lower than those that already exist.

Cummings said he told the president the vast majority of African Americans are doing well and live in nice neighborhoods, "but when he paints them as negative places to be, it sends the wrong message". However, Cummings said the meeting had been pushed back so he and Vermont Sen.

He also told CNN he looked forward to working out a time to meet with the President and he wasn't anxious about the Trump's comment, waving it off as bad information that someone on his staff gave him.

The Maryland representative also said he told Trump that he believed voter fraud - which the president has often raised - is "all but nonexistent".

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The statement did not mention Cummings' comments about Trump's language regarding African-American communities or voting. "We called, called, called, called", he said.

Miller, whose hospital is one of the top five in the nation, said she was also pleased with the meeting, but added skyrocketing drug prices are a tremendous burden on patients and are stifling hospitals' ability to provide affordable health care.

"It boiled down to, again, saving people's lives and saving money, and he was clear when you have situations where these companies are jacking up these prices it puts a lot of families in jeopardy".

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