- The Washington Times - Monday, May 6, 2019

President Trump met with a pair of Floridian GOP allies, Gov. Ron DeSantis and Rep. Matt Gaetz, on Monday to brainstorm ways to “expand choice and competition” in health care and slash drug prices, including the safe importation of medicines.

The White House said Mr. Trump urged Mr. DeSantis at the Oval Office to work with Health Secretary Alex Azar on options “to reduce drug prices in a safe way for Floridians.”

Mr. DeSantis, a conservative, surprised some by pushing a bold state plan that calls for identifying Canadian sellers who are willing to export drugs that seniors and other Floridians struggle to afford at U.S. prices.

Many Republicans look askance at drug importation, citing safety concerns, and the pharmaceutical lobby has pushed back, too.

Mr. Trump has been willing to needle Big Pharma in his pursuit of lower drug prices, however.

His parallel push on health coverage suggests the administration is still considering a list of principles that would guide an Obamacare replacement, even though Mr. Trump punted on holding an actual vote until after the 2020 election.

The White House said Mr. Trump and the Floridian policymakers also discussed an impasse over disaster funding.

The president says Puerto Rico should be happy with the hurricane-relief money it’s received, but Democrats say more is needed as part of a broader package, prompting Mr. Trump to accuse the other side of blocking critical aid for “farmers” and states that supported him in 2016.

“Both the President and Governor DeSantis agree that congressional Democrats must stop blocking critical disaster recovery funding,” the White House said.

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