Washington Post: The Health 202: Nobody is out, yet, after latest meeting to resolve Azar-Verma feud

“Bitter infighting among President Trump’s top health officials — which reached a fever pitch this week — is undermining the administration’s efforts to take major regulatory action on lowering drug prices and other health-care issues.”

“White House officials are frantically trying to resolve the fractured relationship between Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Seema Verma, head of the agency’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. But it’s not clear they’ll succeed.”

“Vice President Pence convened a five-way meeting yesterday afternoon aimed at reconciling the two’s bitter differences. Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and Pence’s chief of staff Marc Short were also present at the meeting, where the officials told Verma and Azar that Trump likes both of them but that they need to start getting along…”

“Aides said yesterday’s meeting was a last-ditch effort to keep Verma and Azar both in the administration and persuade them to work together. But their interpersonal drama — along with tricky legal and policy questions — has already complicated Trump’s quest to lower steep drug prices in the United States.”

‘The president has delivered little on that goal, despite rolling out a policy blueprint 19 months ago. Two drug pricing proposals he has championed — allowing the importation of certain cheaper drugs from Canada and basing the price of some Medicare drugs on the lower prices paid by several other countries — have been stalled by internal disputes, as well as technical and regulatory issues…” Read the full article here.

Source: The Health 202: Nobody is out, yet, after latest meeting to resolve Azar-Verma feud – By Paige Winfield Cunningham, December 12, 2019. Washington Post.

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