Trump takes on hospitals: the facts behind fight over 340B drug discounts

Does the 340B program raise drug prices? Or does it bolster care for society's poorest? The facts on both sides are more complicated than they appear.

There’s at least one unassailable fact in the battle over the federal 340B drug discount program: $1.6 billion is a lot of money.

That’s how much so-called safety net hospitals will lose from a Trump administration policy, announced last week, to slash reimbursement to providers in the 25-year-old program.

But other facts about the program are muddy. Supporters say the payments help pay for care of poor patients, and that without them more hospitals will shutter. Various hospital groups are now suing to stop the change from taking place on Jan. 1. Detractors, on the other hand, say the program is being abused by some hospitals that use it to increase their profits and market power.

Here’s a deeper look at the facts on each side.

How it works

The 340B the federal government that they serve enough indigent patients.

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