Health Care Expert: Trump’s And Sanders’s Prescription Drug Plans One In The Same

[screen shot MSNBC Getty]

Alex Pfeiffer White House Correspondent
Font Size:

Dr. Kenneth Thorpe, chair of health policy and management at Emory University, spoke to The Daily Caller Thursday about how the savings proposed in both Bernie Sanders’s and Donald Trump’s health care plans are implausible and would destroy prescription drug innovation.

Sanders has proposed a “Medicare-for-all” plan which his campaign believes would have prescription drug savings of $241 billion, and Trump has spoken many times on the campaign trail of allowing competitive bidding by Medicare for prescription drugs which he says could save $300 billion.

Thorpe tells TheDC that Medicare prescription drug spending in 2017 is projected to be $112 billion, so Trump’s proposed savings make no sense. With total prescription drug spending at $364 billion, Sanders’s plan would have savings of 64 percent. (RELATED:Analysis: Bernie Health-Care Plan Could Mean 85 Percent Top Tax Rate)

Not only does Dr. Thorpe believe savings of that number are implausible, he adds, “if you wiped out 75 percent of prescription drug spending there would be no more innovation. We are just right in the midst of having this moonshot on cancer and innovation research and funding Alzheimer research, that would all go away because there’d be no returns.”

While certain policies could create prescription drug savings, “at some point you hit so hard that basically the incentives for innovation basically go away,” says Thorpe.

Previously Dr. Thorpe released an analysis of Sanders’s single payer health care plan, which showed that that the Vermont senator had underestimated the costs of his program by over $1 trillion a year. He also found that increased taxes required to pay for such a program would have working families paying more than they would get in savings.

After this analysis was released Sanders’s campaign revised their prescription savings from $324 billion to $241 billion and administration savings from 16 percent to 13 percent. Regarding the on the fly adjustments to Bernie’s health care plan, Thorpe told TheDC, “I really don’t know whats going on over there.”