Medicare Part D–WE CAN DO BETTER

Leavitt’s self serving piece on Medicare doesn’t deal with the 200 million people who have no access to the Medicare benefit and are at the mercy of the Health Care Industrial Complex’s monopolistic practices.  In addition, the prices of medications in the plans are discounted not because of great negotiated prices by the insurer but because  the government is providing subsidies to the program.  As noted below negotiating prices will result in lower costs to the program.

This from Representative Stark’s website:    "REALITY: Prices under the private drug plans in Part D are 75 percent higher than those negotiated by the Veterans Administration. Prices are also 60 percent higher than in Canada, 5 percent higher than at Drugstore.com, and 2 percent higher than at Costco [New Medicare Drug Plans Fail to Provide Meaningful Drug Price Discounts in the San Francisco Bay Area, Committee on Government Reform, Minority Staff, 03/06/06]. They are even higher than the prices in the preceding drug discount card program [Medicare Drug Plan Prices Are Higher Than Medicare Drug Card Prices, Committee on Government Reform, Minority Staff, 02/21/06]. The Medicare Modernization Act prohibited the government from using the clout of more than 40 million beneficiaries to negotiate for lower prices. The MMA also divided the population into smaller groups, also undermining the ability of the private sector to negotiate. To the extent beneficiaries are saving money, they are doing so thanks to government subsidies, not good discounts."

Medicynic’s modest proposal is to negotiate and make prices public, hopefully shaming PHARMA into providing similar savings to everyone. 

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