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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Drug Gift Cards

In Defying the Odds, we discuss the 2016 campaign. The 2019 update includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms. The 2020 race, the subject of our next book, is well underway.  Trump is weaponizing the federal government for his political benefit. He is lagging badly with seniors, so he is trying to buy their votes.

Lev Facher and Nicholas Florko at STAT:

President Trump on Thursday pledged to send $200 prescription drug coupons to 33 million Medicare beneficiaries “in the coming weeks,” a political ploy to curry favor with seniors who view drug prices as a priority.

Trump’s promise comes less than six weeks before Election Day, and represents the latest step in his administration’s (and his campaign’s) efforts to amass health care talking points, even if their actions do little to save Americans money.

The administration is getting its authority to ship the coupons from a Medicare demonstration program, a White House spokesman told STAT in a statement. The nearly $7 billion required to send the coupons, he said, would come from savings from Trump’s “most favored nations” drug pricing proposal. That regulation has also not yet been implemented — meaning the Trump administration is effectively pledging to spend $6.6 billion in savings that do not currently exist. The cards, he said, would be “actual discount cards for prescription drug copays.”