With the mid-term elections just days away, the President unveiled a minimal drug proposal in yet another effort to suggest minor changes at a politically opportune time. This is a distraction from the fact that the Administration is not “strengthening” Medicare as claimed, but fragmenting it and putting it on a path to privatization. Don’t fall for the distraction.
Far from “revolutionizing” prescription drug prices under Medicare, as the president claims, his limited proposal to negotiate prices for some Medicare drugs doesn’t even measure up to his own campaign promises. Candidate Trump vowed to ensure Medicare can negotiate drug prices in Part D, the overall Medicare prescription drug program. He has made no move to do so. In fact, Medicare law continues to prohibit any such negotiations and the president has not proposed to change that.
The vast majority of drugs paid for by Medicare are covered under Part D, not Part B. Part B only covers drugs that must be administered by a doctor, not those purchased by individuals at the pharmacy – where most prescriptions are filled. Yet the President’s proposal, announced days before voters head to the polls, is exclusively for Part B drugs. Under his plan, the government would slowly begin to address prices for these few Part B drugs.
Americans are paying historically high prices for prescription drugs, which is a key driver of overall health care costs and for Medicare in particular. The Center for Medicare Advocacy urges the president to work with Congress to do what he promised. The Administration should develop a plan that really negotiates the cost of the drugs that most people with Medicare need – those covered under Medicare Part D. That is what’s needed to truly protect Americans, drive down costs, and strengthen Medicare. It’s time to offer a real plan, not a headline.
Here’s What You Can Do
Don’t be distracted by side-shows and fake news. We need your voice and we need you to vote for meaningful change. Vote to #SaveMedicareNow.
- Ask your current legislators to protect & strengthen Medicare at https://savemedicarenow.org/actions/2018/8/29/ask-current-legislators-to-protect-medicare
- Use this Action Kit to find events for current elected officials, download candidate questions, share your story and promote these tools using the hashtag #SaveMedicareNow: https://savemedicarenow.org/actions/2018/8/29/action-kit-stay-engaged-ask-questions
- VOTE – Find your polling place and registration status at https://www.nass.org/can-i-vote/find-your-polling-place.