Grassley meets with moderate House Democrats on lowering drug prices 

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) met on Wednesday with a group of moderate House Democrats to see if there is a way forward for a bipartisan approach to lowering prescription drug prices.

The meeting took place in the office of Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.), one of the leaders of the moderate Blue Dog Coalition, according to a House Democratic aide. It included some of the 10 Democratic lawmakers who had signed a letter in May signaling concerns with the sweeping drug pricing bill backed by House Democratic leaders, known as H.R. 3, and calling instead for a bipartisan approach that would preserve innovation from drug companies.

There were a total of five House Democrats in the meeting, in addition to Grassley, the aide said.

Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), who attended the meeting, told The Hill the group was “just trying to figure out: Can we move something forward?”

Asked if the group could come up with an alternative to H.R. 3, Schrader replied, “we’re finding that out.”

Tough road for a bipartisan approach, though: That’s because many Democratic lawmakers, including leadership, are intent on including a provision to allow Medicare to negotiate lower prices, saying that is needed to get meaningful savings. Almost all Republican lawmakers oppose that idea.