Trump Signs New Laws Aimed at Drug Costs and Battles Democrats on Medicare

In Budget, Healthcare On

WASHINGTON — President Trump signed bipartisan legislation on Wednesday that would free pharmacists to tell consumers when they could actually save money by paying the full cash price for prescription drugs rather than using health insurance with large co-payments, deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs.

The legislation on gag clauses has been praised by lawmakers in both parties, but the signing was nearly eclipsed on Wednesday by a separate health care furor: Mr. Trump asserted in an essay in USA Today that Democrats supporting “Medicare for All” would wreck the program for older Americans, infuriating Democrats who said he was lying to millions of Americans.

“Democrats would gut Medicare with their planned government takeover of American health care,” Mr. Trump said, and he assailed Democrats as “radical socialists.”

The back-and-forth over health care showed how prominent the issue has become in the midterm election campaigns. As the parties were coming together on prescription drug costs and fighting over Medicare, the Senate deadlocked on Wednesday over a Democratic proposal to block the expansion of cheap “short term” health insurance policies that do not have to cover maternity care or pre-existing conditions, a top priority of Mr. Trump’s.

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