Published: Fri, March 10, 2017
USA | By Cassandra Hanson

Welch meets with Trump to talk prescription drugs

Welch meets with Trump to talk prescription drugs

The meeting is the latest development in a Trump-Cummings exchange on drug prices, which began when the president saw Cummings address the issue on TV.

That's according to the Maryland Democrat's spokeswoman.

"I've never even had a conversation with Chuck Schumer about the president - ever, ever - so I don't even know what he's talking about", Cummings said at the time. Weeks went by and it's now finally happening.

In addition to raising the issue of prescription drugs, Cummings told "Face the Nation" moderator John Dickerson, "I'm also going to him about voting rights". Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Peter Welch (D-Vt.) met privately for about an hour with Trump and his newly appointed HHS secretary, Tom Price, to discuss ways to combat high drug prices.

The president called Cummings and asked to meet with him after watching him discuss drug prices on a morning cable news show.

Cummings fired back. "I have no idea why President Trump would make up a story about me like he did today", he said in a statement.

Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, dismissed Trump's allegations that he was wire-tapped by former President Barack Obama - telling Blitzer that the dust-up may cause him to be more careful about his Twitter use.

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Allowing the federal government to negotiate drug prices is not a new idea, but Cummings and Welch painted a picture Wednesday of a political landscape that is ripe for change. "It has been reported, however, that President Trump has deleted tweets, and if those tweets were not archived it could pose a violation of the Presidential Records Act".

"This has become the number one health issue for most Americans", Cummings said.

Trump was enthusiastic about the proposal and has publicly supported allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices in the past, Cumming said.

And, Welch said, "the price is starting to kill us, we just can't afford it".

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

"We are seeing astronomical increases in some drug prices, sometimes more than 1,000 percent", Miller said.

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