By Michael Capaldi
The Medicare prescription drug benefit, Part D, provides seniors and disabled Americans with access to affordable prescription drug coverage. A success story for both beneficiaries and taxpayers, Part D is a rare government program that costs far less than anticipated and enjoys high beneficiary satisfaction rates.
Through market-based competition, Part D offers a wide range of plans that help seniors access the medicines they need and, in turn, help improve adherence to doctors' orders. Studies have shown better adherence to medicines improves overall health and reduces costly, avoidable hospitalizations.
Imposing Medicaid-style price controls, commonly referred to as a rebate, threatens to destabilize this successful program, raise beneficiary premiums, reduce investment in research and development needed to discover new treatments and cost hundreds of thousands of jobs.
Medicare Part D: Why it's successful and why it should be left alone:
- Medicare Part D costs significantly less than initial projections and helps control health care costs by improving beneficiaries' health.
- Undermining Part D's competitive approach with government-mandated rebates could result in higher beneficiary premiums, higher copays and more restrictive access to medicines.
- The biopharmaceutical sector is an important driver of America's economy and medical progress. Medicaid-style price controls could jeopardize U.S. jobs and investment in U.S.-based research and development.
Tell Congress to Preserve Medicare Part D
As Congress works to address the nation's debt limit, we need to remind them that targeting Medicare Part D should not be on the list of solutions. In fact, policy proposals such as government-mandated rebates in Part D could set our country back - both in terms of patient care and the economy. We ask for your continued help by voicing your concern to your Members of Congress by taking action now!
You can quickly reach out to your local lawmakers by visiting http://weworkforhealth.org/take-action/contact-lawmakers.
Michael Capaldi, M.Ed., is associate vice president, civic action & social networking, Sanofi U.S., and SPBT's immediate past president. Email Mike at Michael.Capaldi@sanofi.com.