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.”
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