Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) struggled to say at a Senate committee hearing Wednesday whether he supported the position of President-elect Donald Trump, who has selected Price to lead the Department of Health and Human Service, that Medicare should be able to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies. Trump’s support of allowing negotiations cuts against GOP orthodoxy on the issue.
Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) brought up Trump’s position during Price’s testimony in front of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and asked Price whether he would work to repeal the ban on Medicare negotiating drug prices.
“Well I understand that if I’m confirmed and if I have the privilege of serving as Secretary that the boss that I have will be the president of the United States,” Price said.
Baldwin asked the question again.
“Following discussion and being informed by the individuals within the department and working with the President, and then carrying out his wishes,” Price said.
“Was that a yes? Or was that a no?” Baldwin followed up.
“Well it depends on that activity,” Price said.
Baldwin noted Trump’s recent comments in support of Medicare drug price negotiation, and asked Price if he would press Congress to repeal the ban on negotiations.
“I think we need to find solutions to the challenges of folks gaining access to needed medication,” Price said, “And maybe one of those is uh–changing the way the negotiations…as you know, the negotiations right now occur with seniors.”
Baldwin interjected again to ask about drug price transparency before her time for questions ran out.