President-elect Donald Trump said on the campaign trail that Medicare should negotiate for lower drug prices.

"God help him," Acting Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Administrator Andy Slavitt said at the JP Morgan Health Care Conference in San Francisco on Monday. "He's not wrong, but you need a lot of ... to coin a phrase that's been used, a fair amount of stamina if you are going to deal with the pharmaceutical industry on this topic.


"If [Trump] has the stamina he will see two things... the American public is being taken advantage of. And secondly, we are funding the R&D for free riders across the world," Slavitt said. "And I don't think the president-elect... is going to take too well to that."

Trump (and/or congressional republicans) will deserve major kudos if they fix this. At a minimum, with Medicare (or some other major public option) being a big player in the drug/health care market, it needs to act like a market-based entity and be able to negotiate.

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