Rockefeller Bill Would Save Taxpayers Billions

April 16, 2013

Medicare Drug Savings Act Provides Common Sense Solution to High Drug Prices                                      

Washington, D.C. --- In a response to the federal government paying unconscionably high drug prices for dual-eligibles on Medicare, Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) introduced legislation today to require drug companies to provide discounts for low-income Medicare beneficiaries, as they currently do under Medicaid.  The Alliance for Retired Americans strongly supports Rockefeller’s legislation which would save taxpayers and Medicare beneficiaries billions of dollars.

After passage of the Medicare prescription drug law in 2003, drug companies received windfalls worth billions of dollars, as a result of no longer applying rebates for dual-eligibles (beneficiaries who qualify for Medicare and Medicaid).  Senator Rockefeller’s 2013 Medicare Drug Savings Act reverts back to previous law and recaptures the savings lost under the new law.  By simply returning these beneficiaries to Medicaid-negotiated rebates, taxpayers would save $141.2 billion over the next ten years.

Drug companies often charge what the market will bear for prescription drugs. This has resulted in Americans paying the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. It’s time for common sense reforms to ease price-gouging of Medicare beneficiaries and the federal government. By pursuing these savings, we can rein in health care inflation without burdening families with added health care costs or driving up the federal budget deficit.

Coalition letter of support

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Contact: Laura Markwardt – 202/637-5178 or lmarkwar@retiredamericans.org

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