Elder Patriot – Earlier today the Trump administration released a 28-page proposal aimed at curtailing the runaway prescription drug prices that Barack Obama left behind as his legacy.
Among the most significant of President Trump’s proposals:
A cap on out-of-pocket spending for enrollees in Medicare’s prescription drug program.
A provision that would allow up to five states to join together to negotiate drug prices for Medicaid.
Cutting Medicare payments to remove a financial incentive that doctors receive for prescribing higher-priced drugs. You read that correctly – Obama rewarded doctors for prescribing the most expensive drugs effectively turning Medicare into a treasury for Big Parma.
Extend the pharmaceutical companies’ rebate program to insurers and pharmacy benefit managers – intended to help their medications gain a bigger slice of the market – directly to Medicare recipients.
The theory under the existing program is that the rebate payments to insurers would be applied to keep premiums more manageable. Unfortunately, the only 2 results were higher costs and higher profits.
Under Trump’s proposal, seniors covered by Medicare’s “Part D” prescription benefit would be able to share directly in the rebates for individual drugs that they purchase at the pharmacy.
Still another proposal would require insurers to share the discounts they get from drug makers with their patients in the form of reduced premiums.
The plan also expands Medicare’s “catastrophic” drug benefit so many seniors with very high costs would not face copayments.
The Trump administration’s proposals are consistent with the president’s commitment to instituting free-market principles to make competition and the market work better.
The president’s proposals emphasize his desire to protect innovation from drug companies, but also his demand for lower prices.
The accompanying statement made it clear that those were the two drivers of the president’s proposal:
“The U.S. biopharmaceutical industry is the engine of worldwide biopharmaceutical innovation and an important part of our economy. Preserving this industry and encouraging it to innovate while making drugs more available and affordable for all Americans is an attainable goal.”