Stat News: “Crenshaw has shifted his position,” but his campaign site still features his broken promise!
Last year, now-Congressman Dan Crenshaw campaigned on a promise to lower prescription drug prices by allowing the federal government to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies to help lower the skyrocketing costs plaguing Texas families.
Now, after taking thousands from health care special interests and after just a few months in office, Stat News reports that “Crenshaw has shifted his position” and “already appear[s] to have abandoned” his pledge.
“After less than five months in office, Congressman Crenshaw has gone Washington and he’s already abandoning his core promises to Texans,” said DCCC Spokesperson Avery Jaffe. “Crenshaw’s hypocrisy reveals his true colors — he will always put big pharmaceutical companies and his Washington Republican backers ahead of Texas families.”
By Lev Facher
WASHINGTON — Just a handful of Republicans have ever endorsed the progressive idea to let Medicare negotiate drug prices.
But now, less than five months since they were sworn in, two GOP lawmakers who defied party orthodoxy by campaigning on that plank already appear to have abandoned it.
Both Reps. Dan Crenshaw of Texas and Pete Stauber of Minnesota have retreated from their campaign pledges on the issue — a sign, experts said, of both the political appeal of pledging to lower drug prices and the trepidation that comes with crossing the party line on a divisive issue. The political liability that comes with quickly abandoning a campaign-trail promise, too, could be substantial.
“My expectation is that most voters will believe they flipped because they have succumbed to the money and influence of the drug manufacturers, which creates a donor-whammy,” said Geoff Garin, a left-leaning pollster who has conducted surveys on the politics of health care for Arnold Ventures, a group largely opposed to pharmaceutical industry tactics. “Being wrong on the issue and an appearance of corruption.”
Their backpedal stands in contrast to a pair of GOP lawmakers who have held firm in their support of Medicare negotiation. Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio), another first-term congressman, said on the campaign trail that “allowing Medicare to negotiate prices directly would be a good start.” And his office told STAT this week that he’s still on board with that pledge — even if he hasn’t yet signed onto any of the three House bills that have been introduced to achieve that goal…
…“The congressman is less convinced that the heavy hand of Medicare drug negotiation is the best approach” to lowering drug prices, said a spokeswoman, Kerry Rom, confirming that Crenshaw has shifted his position. “One way we’ve begun trying to address this in Congress is by getting more generics to market.”
Crenshaw had previously spotlighted drug prices in his platform, citing the Department of Veterans Affairs — which does negotiate drug prices — as a model.
“We need to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices and establish simple, preliminary and common formularies, much like the VA does with access to other medicine if needed,” Crenshaw’s campaign still lists on its issues page…