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WASHINGTON — Seema Verma, President Trump’s nominee to lead the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, found herself Thursday performing a familiar high-wire act on drug prices.

As Democrats pressed her on Trump’s support for drug-price negotiations under Medicare Part D during a Senate Finance Committee hearing, Verma didn’t let herself get pinned down.

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  • Facts:
    1) 95% of all drugs are generic, and competition has already forced their prices down as far as they can go.
    2) The remainder of the drugs are either a) patent protected, and hence not subject to competition, or b) “rogue drugs” (Shkreli), where the drugs are single sourced, prices raised astronomically, and there is no competitive alternative.

    Obviously competition is NOT the answer, but incompetence has not seemed much of an impediment to Trump getting most of his picks through Congress so far.

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