FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Mitchell Clark
Senior Communications Associate
April 16, 2013
Legislation Introduced to Create Over $140 Billion in Medicare Savings
--Secures Lower Drug Prices, Protects People with Medicare --
New York, NY—The Medicare Drug Savings Act of 2013 was introduced earlier today in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. The proposed legislation would restore Medicaid-level drug rebates for low-income Medicare beneficiaries, saving the federal government $141 billion over ten years according to Congressional Budget Office estimates.
“This bill offers a stark and far superior alternative to some of the most discussed Medicare savings proposals that would burden people with Medicare with more costs or less care,” said Joe Baker, President of the Medicare Rights Center. “This legislation allows Medicare to secure reasonable drug prices, making the Medicare program more efficient without shifting costs to people with Medicare, half of whom live on annual incomes of $22,500 or less.”
At the time Medicare Part D was created, low-income individuals on Medicare who had drug coverage through the Medicaid program, which received standard discounts or rebates on drug prices, were switched to Medicare Part D drug coverage. However, the rebates did not follow them because they were eliminated in Medicare, creating a windfall for pharmaceutical manufacturers. The bill introduced today would simply restore those rebates, creating savings for the federal government and for taxpayers.
In an letter to the sponsor’s of this legislation, the Medicare Rights Center, joined by over 30 other national organizations, praised the bill as “a principled approach to controlling Medicare spending that protects beneficiaries unable to afford even higher health care costs” and offered crucial facts about restoring drug rebates for low-income beneficiaries that policymakers should consider during budget negotiations, including:
Read the letter.
- Americans strongly support allowing Medicare to secure lower drug prices.
- Medicare drug rebates are not new and have been implemented in the past.
- Restoring drug rebates to the Medicare program is a cost saver and will not shift costs to Medicare beneficiaries or employers.
- Pharmaceutical spending on research and development would not be at risk.
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Medicare Rights Center is a national, nonprofit consumer service organization that works to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities through counseling and advocacy, educational programs, and public policy initiatives.
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