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Autor Tema: Column calls on Medicare to get better deals on drugs  (Leído 11216 veces)

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Column calls on Medicare to get better deals on drugs
« : abril 27, 2013, 05:57:27am »

There are many ways to get a better deal for Medicare on prescription drugs, including letting Medicare run its own drug plan, or allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower prices.

The most straightforward path involves vuitton pas cher the prescription drugs that are used by low-income beneficiaries. Before the enactment of Part D, drug manufacturers were required to provide discounts on these drugs. Then, in a windfall to the drug industry, the discounts were eliminated by the 2003 law.

President  has called for restoring these discounts in his budget proposal. Similar legislation has been introduced in the Senate, where Florida's  is a co-sponsor, as well as in the House.

Depending on the details, these discounts are estimated to save Medicare between $120 billion and $140 billion over the next 10 years. The proposal also has the support of 85 percent of the American public, according to a January 2013 poll, including 68 percent who support it strongly.

Defenders of the status quo sometimes argue that obtaining discounts on Medicare Part D drugs will push up drug prices elsewhere, or it will undermine the industry's commitment to research and development. However, these same discounts were in place in the 1990s and early 2000s a period when pharmaceutical research and development thrived. Today, drug manufacturers actually spend substantially more on marketing, advertising and administration than they do on research and development.

Finally, some claim that, because the Part D program has cost taxpayers less than originally projected, we should do nothing to bring down drug expenditures further. But Part D costs less because enrollment is about 25 percent lower than originally projected, and because drug spending across the entire population has slowed, largely due to the increased use of generic drugs. These developments are no reason not to pursue a better bargain for taxpayers.

Our Alexander bags online leaders in Washington face tough choices about the future of health-care spending, and Louis vuitton 2013 about Medicare Hermes 35CM Crocodile Orange Gold in Hermes Birkin Bag 35 Dim Gray Silver particular. One option is to pass additional costs on to seniors and people with disabilities. This is a risky path: About half of Medicare enrollees have incomes below $22,500 a year and cannot afford to pay more for their health care.

We should instead look for ways to get more value for our Medicare dollars. Driving a better deal on Medicare prescription drugs is a good place to start.

Ron Pollack is executive director of Families USA, an advocacy group for health-care consumers and a leading supporter of President Obama's health-care-reform law.

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