WASHINGTON – Proposals in Congress to give the federal government power to set prices for medications in the Medicare Part D prescription drug program are not getting an enthusiastic reception from program beneficiaries, according to a nationwide survey of Part D-enrolled seniors.
A survey of 1,000 seniors conducted by Morning Consult and released by the Medicare Today coalition found that 50 percent of Americans over 65 who are enrolled in Part D prescription drug plans would prefer to keep the current program as it is to prevent the federal government from deciding which drugs would be accessible. Only 30 percent said they would change the law to give the government greater power over drug pricing. The non-interference clause in the Part D program restricts federal involvement in drug pricing so that prices are determined through negotiations between Part D plans and drug manufacturers.
Even among self-identified Democrats, only 39 percent said they would reform the law to give the federal government pricing powers while an equal number said they would leave the program unchanged. Overall, 85 percent of seniors said they would be concerned over changes to the Part D program that would allow the government to restrict access to medicines they use.
“What we see seniors saying is that the Part D program is making the medicines they need accessible and affordable, so why make radical changes to what is clearly working,” said Mary R. Grealy, chair of Medicare Today and president of the Healthcare Leadership Council. “The Congressional Budget Office has previously said that repealing the non-interference clause will only save money if Washington establishes a central, restrictive formulary. Seniors are adamant that this is what they don’t want. They want their physicians, not federal bureaucrats, determining what medicines are best for them.”
The Morning Consult survey did show support among the nation’s seniors for some changes to the Part D program, including maximum limits on annual out-of-pocket costs and enabling those out-of-pocket costs to be spread out over the course of the year.
More findings from the survey can be found here.
WASHINGTON – Nearly nine of every 10 Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in Part D prescription drug plans say they are satisfied with their medication coverage with large majorities saying that their costs for both generic and name-brand drugs are affordable, according to a survey conducted by Morning Consult and released by the Medicare Today coalition.
The survey of 1,000 Part D-enrolled seniors conducted in late June showed 87 percent expressing satisfaction with their prescription drug coverage, 44 percent saying they were very satisfied. Also, 92 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with their Medicare health coverage overall.
Medicare Today chair and Healthcare Leadership Council president Mary R. Grealy said these high approval numbers have been consistent since polling on Medicare Part D satisfaction began shortly after the program’s inception and should be taken into consideration by policymakers.
“There may not be a government program more popular than the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit. Perennially, polling shows approval ratings near or above 90 percent, which indicates how important this benefit is to seniors, people with disabilities, and their loved ones who care about their health,” she said. “As we hear rumblings on Capitol Hill from those wanting to make significant structural changes to this program, it should not go unnoticed that beneficiaries greatly value this program’s affordability and the access it provides to the medicines they need.”
Key findings from the Morning Consult survey include:
- 84 percent say their Part D monthly premiums are affordable.
- 76 percent say their total out-of-pocket costs are reasonable.
- 75 percent say their Part D plan covers all the medicines their doctor prescribes.
- 85 percent say the consider their Part D plan to be a good value.
- 83 percent say it is important to them to have a choice of competing Part D plans.
More findings from the survey can be found here.
Former U.S. Presidential Candidate, former Vermont Governor, and Physician
Former President and CEO of RetireSafe
former President and CEO of RetireSafe
an advocate for healthcare reform, patient‘s rights, and seniors’ issues.
Thair Phillips, former President and CEO of RetireSafe And Janet McUlsky, COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project, discussed:
• The latest information on COVID-19 vaccines
• The impact of vaccination uptake
• Efforts to ensure equitable access to authorized and approved vaccines
Watch the Town Hall video here
COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project
WASHINGTON – As the Biden Administration and a new Congress look for avenues next year to improve healthcare affordability, they should make it a priority to protect the flexibility and stability currently offered by the Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage program, the chairman of the Medicare Today coalition said today.
Mary R. Grealy, president of the Healthcare Leadership Council and chair of Medicare Today, said that seniors are disproportionately endangered by the COVID-19 pandemic and need reliable, affordable access to the medicines prescribed by their physicians.
Guest Speakers: Thair Phillips, former President and CEO of RetireSafe and John Schall, CEO of Caregiver Action Network.
Thair Phillips former President and CEO of RetireSafe And Jennifer Macdonald Morning Consult Director
By Mary R. Grealy, opinion contributor — 09/10/20
The COVID-19 pandemic has thrust the United States into an unprecedented period of uncertainty. America has been ravaged by this public health crisis as states across the country continue to report tens of thousands of new cases daily. While individuals of all ages, race and creed have been impacted by COVID-19, older Americans and individuals with underlying conditions have borne the brunt of this virus. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 80 percent of COVID-19 related deaths in the United States have occurred among adults 65 and older.