Legislation To Lower Prescription Drug Costs By Replacing Medicare Part D

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture
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Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) recently introduced a bill (HR 6800) that would replace the Medicare prescription drug benefit with a new program in an effort to reduce costs, CQ HealthBeat reports. The legislation would require Medicare to negotiate directly with pharmaceutical companies for discounts on prescription drugs and eliminate copayments, premiums and deductibles for medications for beneficiaries. In addition, the bill would limit the price of prescription drugs developed through publically funded research and allow the purchase of medications from an approved list of foreign nations.

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Kucinich in a statement said, "The privatized drug plan has been given a chance and, as predicted, it has failed," adding, "There is no reason for us to keep throwing money at a bad idea when we know we can save taxpayers billions of dollars and give seniors the medication they need."

According to a statement from America's Health Insurance Plans, a Harris Interactive online poll released in December 2007 found that 87% of Medicare beneficiaries were satisfied with their prescription drug plans and that 75% spent less on medications than they did before enrollment. AHIP spokesperson Robert Zirkelbach said, "The Part D program has proven to help seniors get access to the prescription drugs they need while holding down costs for beneficiaries and taxpayers" (Parnass, CQ HealthBeat, 8/7).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. © 2007 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

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