It’s not fair to say that nobody is benefiting from the disastrous prescription drug benefit otherwise known as Medicare Part D. According to the New York Times, there are some very clear winners from the plan:
The pharmaceutical industry is beginning to reap a windfall from a surprisingly lucrative niche market: drugs for poor people.
And analysts expect the benefits to show up in many of the quarterly financial results that drug makers will begin posting this week.
The windfall, which by some estimates could be $2 billion or more this year, is a result of the transfer of millions of low-income people into the new Medicare Part D drug program that went into effect in January. Under that program, as it turns out, the prices paid by insurers, and eventually the taxpayer, for the medications given to those transferred are likely to be higher than what was paid under the federal-state Medicaid programs for the poor.
The article goes on to point out what anyone who’s been paying attention already knows: costs are soaring in large part because the government is forbidden from having a negotiating role in the process. Instead the deals are left to be brokered between the individual insurance companies and the pharmaceutical companies.
So see? Someone is happy. The pharmaceutical industry is very, very happy. Happy to the tune of billions of dollars. And whose billions are those? The article answers that question as well. Drumroll please:
Initially, the added costs will be paid by the insurers administering the new Medicare drug program. But when it comes time for the insurers to settle accounts with the government, the costs of the 6.5 million drugs for the transferees will end up being passed along to federal taxpayers, according to analysts and health care economists.
Ta da! That’s some fancy fiscal responsibility for you.
Please come to Medicare D-Day on Medicare’s B-Day and ask
Rep. Fitzpatrick to commit to reforming the Part D disaster
in specific ways that will benefit the American citizens who need the help instead of funneling money into the pockets of political donor industries.
July 29th also marks ONE HUNDRED DAYS before the election.
Celebrate all your civil rights and duties by showing up to
talk to your congressman about this important issue.
What: Medicare D-Day on Medicare’s B-Day
When: 9:15am Saturday, JULY 29
Where: Oxford Valley Mall – JC Penney parking lot (Google. Map )
Why: to lobby Congressman Fitzpatrick to fix Medicare’s Prescription drug benefit