MEdicare Support and Policy

Medicare Part B update from PhRMA — August 2020

Administration’s 2018 proposed “International Pricing Index Model of Medicare Part B Drugs.  This model would change the US healthcare system and adopt a system to reflect the pricing and treatment policies found in other countries with single payer systems.  Basically, this model would impose foreign price controls on certain prescription drugs 

We believe basing payments in Medicare Part B on what other countries with socialist health care systems pay would be devastating for patients in the US because it would significantly limit access to critical medicines and treatments.  In fact, the White House Counsel of Economic Advisors recently pointed in out that, U.S. cancer patients survive longer than those in all other European Union countries because U.S. citizens have more access to the newest treatments.  

 History has shown that government-imposed price controls consistently cause shortages, and delays in both available as well as access to innovative treatments. 

Please contact your Congressman and Senators and inform them of the many flaws in the President’s “Healthcare Plan.”  Many of the people we have helped are now leading normal lives because they were prescribed pharmaceuticals developed by our American Pharmaceutical Companies and sold at American Pharmacies.

 

News

Recent proposals in Congress would drastically impact Medicare beneficiaries by linking U.S. health care costs to foreign countries and encouraging government price controls. We ask Sen. Mike Lee, Sen. Mitt Romney, Rep. Rob Bishop, Rep. Chris Stewart, Rep. John Curtis and Rep. Ben McAdams to actively oppose any policies that would be harmful to Utah’s nearly 390,000 Medicare beneficiaries. Utah's representatives should support patient-centered reforms that cap out-of-pocket drug spending in Medicare Part D and ensure pharmaceutical discounts negotiated by insurance companies are shared with patients at the pharmacy counter

News

Recent proposals in Congress would drastically impact Medicare beneficiaries by linking U.S. health care costs to foreign countries and encouraging government price controls. We ask Sen. Mike Lee, Sen. Mitt Romney, Rep. Rob Bishop, Rep. Chris Stewart, Rep. John Curtis and Rep. Ben McAdams to actively oppose any policies that would be harmful to Utah’s nearly 390,000 Medicare beneficiaries. Utah's representatives should support patient-centered reforms that cap out-of-pocket drug spending in Medicare Part D and ensure pharmaceutical discounts negotiated by insurance companies are shared with patients at the pharmacy counter

Letter to our representants and Senators

October 11, 2019

The Honorable Sen. Mike Lee
The Honorable Sen. Mitt Romney
The Honorable Rep. Rob Bishop
The Honorable Rep. Chris Stewart
The Honorable Rep. John Curtis
The Honorable Rep. McAdams

Dear Mr. Lee, Mr. Romney, Mr. Bishop, Mr. Stewart, Mr. Curtis and Mr. McAdams,
We are writing to encourage you to consider the nearly 390,000 seniors and people living with
disabilities enrolled in Medicare in Utah as you carefully review potential changes to Medicare.
We applaud efforts to lower costs for beneficiaries, but maintaining comprehensive coverage,
access to care, and competition are essential for Utah seniors. For example, in Utah,
beneficiaries are able to choose between 26 different Part D plans to allow them to select the best
coverage for their health needs. This competition is one of the reasons why seniors continue to
be happy with the program. In a 2019 Senior Satisfaction Survey conducted by Medicare Today,
93% of beneficiaries said the Part D program is convenient to use and 84% said premiums are
affordable.

There are two proposals currently being considered in Congress that would help lower costs for
seniors. One would reform the rebate system in the pharmaceutical supply chain. This would
ensure that the steep discounts negotiated by the manufacturers, pharmacy benefit managers, and
insurance companies make their way to patients at the pharmacy counter. We also support
legislative efforts to implement an annual out-of-pocket cap for prescription drug spending and
lowering what people pay in Part D. An annual out-of-pocket cap is a commonsense reform that
would lower patient cost-sharing and improve Part D drug affordability, while still maintaining
access to a wide-range of drugs.

Conversely, there are two policy proposals that we think would be harmful to Utah’s Medicare
beneficiaries. We are particularly concerned about efforts to link U.S. health care costs to 14
other countries, most of which have government-run health care systems. One such proposal,
known as the International Price Index model, would drastically alter the way Medicare
reimburses and distributes medicines within the Medicare Part B program. The unintended
consequence of linking U.S. prices to other countries is that our patients would face the same
access restrictions that patients in the identified reference countries have – a harsh reality for
those who are battling serious illness such as cancer or autoimmune diseases.

Finally, we are opposed to legislative proposals that would undermine the competitive structure
of Medicare Part D, such as repealing the non-interference clause, implementing inflation
penalties, or other proposals that would lead to government price controls. We believe treatment
decisions should be made by a patient and a doctor, not government officials. Government
interference would restrict access for patients and could thwart the advancement of innovative
treatment options, and even cures, for years to come.
In short, as you consider legislative changes to Medicare this fall, we hope that you support
patient-centered policies to reduce out-of-pocket costs with continued access to treatment options
for Utah’s seniors.

Sincerely,
Bio Utah
Centro Civico Mexicano
Dyson and Associates
First Step House
Inclusion Center for Community and Justice
NAACP – Ogden Chapter
Northern Utah Coalition, Inc.
Project Success Coalition
Utah Support Advocates for Recovery Awareness

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