Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's claim that he could save taxpayers $300 billion a year by negotiating with drugmakers may be wildly overstated, as his savings goal actually exceeds what the entire nation spent on prescription drugs in 2014 ($298 billion). Medicare drug spending in 2014 totaled $143 billion. Trump's claims are also at odds with the Congressional Budget Office, which says that government drug-price negotiation for Medicare, by itself, wouldn't impact the federal deficit.
Not to mention that Trump's proposal to give his administration price-negotiating authority faces stiff challenges. Medicare Part D, which was enacted in 2003 and went into effect in 2006, subsidizes the cost of prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries but contains a provision that specifically prohibits the federal government from negotiating or interfering in negotiations between drug companies and insurers. House Speaker Paul Ryan opposes repealing that non-interference clause and giving the government a role in setting drug prices. Trump joins Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in the call to allow Medicare to negotiate.