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Trump Attacks Pharma in First Press Conference Since Election

President-Elect Donald Trump plans to allow Medicare to bid on drugs.

In a news conference today, President-Elect Donald Trump said the federal government should try to get the pharmaceutical industry to compete on drug prices and that Medicare drugs should be subject to competitive bidding.

"Pharma has a lot of lobbies, a lot of lobbyists and a lot of power," Trump said. "And there's very little bidding on drugs.. . .We're going to start bidding and we're going to save billions of dollars."

In other health-related news, Trump said David Shulkin, current undersecretary of health for the Department of Veterans' Affairs would be his pick to head the agency. His first task if approved would be to shorten waiting times for care. He also hinted there would be more privatizations saying, "We're going to be talking to a few people also to help David and we have some of the great hospitals of the world going to align themselves with us on the Veterans Administration, like the Cleveland Clinic." He also mentioned the Mayo Clinic and promised "we're going to straighten out the VA for our veterans."

Asked about the Affordable Care Act, which he has vowed to repeal, Trump repeated his charge that "Obamacare is a complete and total disaster." Without giving details on a replacement plan, Trump said that the public would see his replacement ideas as soon as he gets approval for a new Secretary of Health and Human Services.

The full text of the conference covered a wide range of topics ranging from Trump plans to curb illegal immigration to his reaction to Russian espionage and his attacks on the media.