Obama Eyes Medicare Part D

Tait Trussell is a national award-winning writer, former vice-president of the American Enterprise Institute and former Washington correspondent for The Wall Street Journal.


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Beyond direct unemployment in biopharmaceutical companies, the Battelle analysis declared, “the biopharmaceutical sector is the foundation upon which one of the United States’ most dynamic innovation and business ecosystems is built…and acts as the funnel and distribution engine for getting life-saving and quality-of-life therapeutics to the marketplace,” Battelle added.

A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report said such a policy as proposed for Part D “could reduce the amount of funds manufacturers invest in research nd development of new products. Reducing investment in research will slow medical progress in Alzheimer’s, cancer and other conditions.”

Part D, it said, has avoided the type of government-imposed access restrictions common in Medicaid. Beneficiary choice among plans and the availability of a range of affordable options are key components of Part D, promoting both affordability and access to medicines.

A Lewin Group study found that in 2011 the Part D plans with the highest and second highest enrollment covered 99 percent and 94 percent, respectively, of the drugs most often prescribed to those 65 or older. So said the health research organization.

“In short,” wrote Grace-Maria Turner in Forbes, “the President’s plan will cut investment in research and development. In the longer term, the diminished incentive for success will have companies thinking hard about whether it’s worth it to invest $1.2 billion to bring a new drug to market when the government may set prices below their costs of development and production.”

Part D enrollees are permitted to change drug plans annually so they can maintain prescription drug coverage that fits their medical needs and pocketbook. Those who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid—about 9 million seniors—may change plans any time, unlike Medicaid where beneficiaries typically are restricted to the particular state’s preferred drug list. Imposing Medicaid-like price controls on Part D could raise cost for seniors–the same effect as a tax hike. Applying the Medicaid rebate rule to Medicare Part D would also likely mean higher prices for consumers at large, some economists predict.

A policy that threatens big job losses as well as Medicare beneficiaries’ access to life-saving drugs should be dismissed outright.

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  • Marilyn Heatb

    I believe anyone who thinks Obama doesn’t know what he is doing
    are also in the dark. Google “Cloward Piven” & you will understand
    why we are sinking so fast.

  • geez

    The fact is Obama will always give out pain pills to anyone 70 years and older, that's really all they need according to dictator Obama. I say his usefulness is over in 2012, we can't afford anymore of his communist idea's and values.

  • Chezwick_mac

    Believe it or not, the unfunded liabilities from Bush's prescription drug subsidy for seniors exceed the unfunded liabilities of social security. Just go to USdebtclock.org and look at bottom of page.

    Just like with every other social program, good intentions ran up against the ugly reality of dollars and cents. The entitlement age is over, we just haven't accepted it yet.

  • pyeatte

    Hopefully the Congress can stop the Obama insanity or at least slow it down until we can vote this character out of office. The left just wants to get control of everyones lives. That a corrupt bunch of thugs – just never forget it.

  • Tanstaafl

    If it works, break it. The obaminions have to break everything,

  • Palin

    Part D has been a cash cow for insurance companies and big drug companies. After four years on four different plans I still pay more and get little in return. I generally go in the donut hole after 3 months and then pay for everything until the end of the year. I also pay insurance premiums for those 9 months and get NOTHING in return. If I stop–I get a permanent government penalty. Who came up with this insidious plan?

    Premiums rise each year, drugs are limited by plan and tiers, co-pays and deductibles are up, drug prices are up and even getting 50% for some in the donut hole is a game where prices and co-pays just rise to offset any real cost to insurance companies.

    My wife goes in the donut hole after one month. Her prescriptions run about $1500 a month. So she can get some benefit due to her serious health condition. Part D is good for persons with no health problems or others with catastrophic problems. There's little for those of us in the middle.

    One example: My wife had uncontrolled vomiting for days. From the Dr's office we went to the drugstore with a prescription. Denied by the insurance company. The pharmacist said I could file a written appeal and get an answer in about a week. She continued vomiting, we still pay the premiums–NO Drug was received as prescribed by the Dr. and rejected by the insurance company. What a political nightmare!

    I watch countless seniors walk away from the drugstore refusing to pay the high prices on some drugs. They stop taking meds. Is this part of Part D?? Too many seniors are getting poor or no service with the plan written by the drug companies and passed by Bush supporters. What idiot says this is the best plan ever sponsored by the government. It's obvious they are spewing the party line or never relied on Part D for help.

    At present I get free drugs from the drug company because my income is not high enough to buy their meds. I also get FREE mrds from Publix food store such as metformin and lisinopril–now that's a public service that NO government or insurance company could match because they skim the profits for their own benefit. Part D might have some benefit if you can remove the insurance companies and drug manufacturers. Both of these outfits are making obscene profits and pay great salaries to selected people. Most drugs are made in foreign countries. Think about what is really behind Part D before you conclude mindlessly that it is the best thing since sliced cheese!