Cummings, Trump meeting on drug prices back on

Posted March 10, 2017

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican and chairman of the committee, sent the letter along with committee member Rep. Elijah Cummings, a Maryland Democrat.

"He made it clear to us that he wanted to do something", Cummings said, characterizing Trump as "aware of the problem" and "enthusiastic".

"This meeting was first talked about when I ran into the president at his inaugural luncheon", Cummings said. The two lawmaker said the federal government could save as much as $ 16 billion per year if Medicare paid similar rates.

Cummings described Trump as being excited about Cummings' measure on drug prices for Medicare. He pledged he would bring down drug prices.

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.

"I told him I am grateful to be an HBCU graduate", said Cummings, who attended Howard University and whose wife and two daughters are graduates of HBCUs. Cummings said he also addressed the president's allegations of massive voter fraud in the November election, telling Trump the president can not investigate voter fraud without tackling the real issue of voter suppression, which has penetrated many communities unjustly. Cummings said the president is on top of it and "he gets it", in regards to prescription drug prices.

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"T$3 he thing we do know is a problem is voter suppression and that you can't have any reasonable investigation of voting in the USA unless you deal with that issue", Cummings said. "We called, called, called, called", he said.

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.

"I want you to realize that all African-American communities are not places of depression and where people are being harmed", he said.

"A lot of these drug companies are doing it because they can do it".