Lawmakers press HHS for documents on Trump’s drug-card plan – POLITICO

Senior Democratic lawmakers are demanding that the health department turn over internal documents on President Donald Trump’s plan to give seniors $200 discount cards to buy prescription drugs, following a POLITICO report that the department’s top lawyer warned the plan could violate election law.

The media reports “appear to confirm our concerns that the Trump Administration is relying on dubious legal authority to justify a blatant political gambit by the President that would be paid for using taxpayer dollars,” Reps. Frank Pallone and Richard Neal and Sen. Ron Wyden wrote to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, demanding the documents by Monday.

Trump abruptly announced the drug-card plan last month, prompting health officials to rush to find a legal basis for it before Election Day. But the $7.9 billion proposal, which would be paid for by dipping into one of Medicare’s trust funds, has come under fire from Democrats and outside watchdogs, who have called it inappropriate and potentially illegal. The Trump administration says it’s a legally permissible use of Medicare powers to “test” new ways of funding care.

Pallone chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Neal chairs the Ways and Means Committee and Wyden is the ranking member on the Senate Finance Committee. In their