Democrats chanted “HR 3,” the House-passed prescription drug bill, in response to President Donald Trump’s call for Congress to pass a drug bill during his State of the Union address on Tuesday.
“I am calling for bipartisan legislation that achieves the goal of dramatically lowering prescription drug prices,” Trump said during his speech. “Get a bill to my desk, and I will sign it into law without delay.”
“I have been speaking to Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and others in the Congress in order to get something on drug pricing done, and done quickly and properly,” he added.
Democrats chant “HR 3”:
Many Democrats in the chamber chanted “HR 3” in response to Trump’s remarks, referring to a drug bill the House already passed.
The HR 3 bill would allow the federal government to negotiate drug prices and is projected to save Medicare up to $350 billion over 10 years, Vox reported.
Despite Trump’s repeated vows to lower drug prices, Trump threatened to veto the bill, arguing it implements “price controls” and would limit the amount of new drugs released onto the market.
“Even without this veto threat, H.R.3 is expected to be dead-on-arrival in the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has shown no interest in taking up the bill,” Vox reported.
GOP plan would be less effective:
The Grassley bill that Trump referred to would implement technical changes to the rebates that drug makers pay under Medicare and Medicaid and caps on out-of-pocket costs by seniors.
But the bill was already approved by Grassley’s committee.
Grassley accused McConnell of blocking the bill.
Grassley told reporters last year that McConnell “asked them not to” support the bill.
“The president wants it!” Grassley demanded.