Plan to Reduce Medicare Drug Costs Is Withdrawn After Bipartisan Criticism
The Obama administration has scrapped one of its most significant efforts to rein in spending on prescription drugs: a plan for a nationwide experiment in which Medicare would have reduced payments for many drugs given to patients in doctors’ offices and hospital clinics. Federal health officials withdrew the proposal after it was criticized by pharmaceutical companies, doctors, patients and members of Congress from both parties. One of the sharpest critics was Representative Tom Price, Republican of Georgia, who has been chosen by President-Elect Donald J. Trump to be his secretary of health and human services. Ben Wakana, a spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services, said that, after considering public comments on a proposed rule, the agency had decided not to move forward with the demonstration project, which was announced in March.“The proposal was intended to test whether alternative drug payment structures would improve the quality of patient care and the value of Medicare drug spending,” Mr. Wakana said. “While there was a great deal of support from some, a number of stakeholders expressed strong concerns.” Drug costs have again become a hot political issue as the price tag on some medications is now well over $50,000 a year. But the proposal for lowering spending, Obama administration officials said, was killed by the drug industry and its lobbyists.
David Wingate is an elder law attorney at the Elder Law Office of David Wingate, LLC. The elder law office services clients with powers of attorneys, living wills, Wills, Trusts, Medicaid and asset protection. The Elder Law office has locations in Frederick and Montgomery Counties, Maryland.