Pelosi's prescription for high drug prices clears committee

October 22, 2019 - 10:15 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — A powerful House panel has approved House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's legislation to lower prescription drug prices for seniors and working-age people.

The Ways and Means committee voted Tuesday along party lines, moving the bill closer to floor action.

It fulfills a long-sought Democratic goal of letting Medicare negotiate directly with drugmakers.

But Republicans are overwhelmingly opposed, and the Pelosi bill has little chance unless President Donald Trump gets behind the idea. As a candidate, Trump backed Medicare negotiations. But his relationship with Pelosi has broken down over the House impeachment probe.

A bipartisan bill in the Senate would limit pharmaceutical price hikes, without giving Medicare bargaining power.

The House bill is being named after the late Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, a Democrat who sought to engage Trump on drug prices.

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