A top Trump administration lawyer reportedly said a plan to send $200 prescription-drug coupons to seniors may be illegal
The chief attorney for the Department of Health and Human Services has described concerns that the Trump administration's plan to send coupons for prescription drugs to seniors could violate electoral law, Politico reported.
Although many would receive the coupons after the November 3 presidential election, the Trump administration reportedly wanted to send letters to 39 million senior citizens this week describing the effort.
Trump administration officials had previously said the plan could violate rules on federal spending and Medicare-related testing, Politico reported.
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President Donald Trump. REUTERS / Kevin Lamarque
Robert Charrow, General Counsel for the Department of Health and Human Services, said in an internal memo that President Donald Trump's plan to send out prescription drug coupons to seniors may be in violation of electoral law, Politico reported, citing three people with knowledge the matter.
Trump announced the initiative in September, and his administration reportedly wanted to send letters to millions of 39 million seniors this week describing the effort. Many of those eligible for the $ 200 vouchers would receive them after the November 3 presidential election, Politico reported.
Charrow reportedly described concerns about the initiative's proximity to the election and urged members of the Trump administration to consult with the Department of Justice's Public Integrity Division on the plan. Even before Charrow's memo, officials said the plan could violate federal spending and Medicare-related testing rules, Politico reported.
The White House and HHS did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.
Many health officials in the Trump administration were reportedly surprised when Trump announced the plan, which Politico says has lost momentum in the past two weeks. Members of the administration were reluctant to look closely at the initiative, Politico reported. One told the website that the plan would become "radioactive quickly".
Senior Trump administration officials said the coupons could provide an indication of whether Medicare recipients' granting discounts on prescription drugs would lead them to take the drugs more frequently, Politico reported. Charrow has reportedly suggested sending the coupons to a random group of seniors to make the initiative a valid test, but Trump reportedly plans to send them to more than half of Medicare beneficiaries.
Seniors have favored Trump's Democratic contender for the presidency, Joe Biden, in opinion polls, a preference that is reflected in many other polls.
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