Obama administration policy will eliminate half of all existing Medicare Part D plans
The Obama administration’s new proposed rule for Medicare Part D would eliminate half of all Medicare Part D plans and raise prescription drug premiums for millions of seniors by up to 20 percent, according to a U.S. House subcommittee chairman.
“Today, the average senior has 35 different [Medicare Part D] plans to choose from this year. This rule would reduce that choice to two plans. 50% of the plans offered today will be gone, and the health care that seniors like may go with it,” House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee chairman Rep. Joe Pitts said in a statement at a Feb. 26 hearing attended by a top administration health official.
“Limiting seniors’ choices like this will inevitably lead to higher costs. By some estimates, the restriction on the number of plans that can be offered could cause premiums to rise by 10%-20%. Costs to the federal government may increase by $1.2-1.6 billion according to a study by Milliman,” Pitts said. “… I urge Secretary Sebelius and Administrator Tavenner to rescind this rule.”
The study Pitts cited also showed that the new rule would increase out-of-pocket drug costs for 6.9 million seniors who do not qualify for low-income subsidies, and would raise federal taxpayer costs for six million seniors who do qualify.
President Bush signed Medicare Part D into law in 2003 to subsidize prescription drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries.
The Daily Caller reported that the administration’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), a division of Kathleen Sebelius’ Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), recently introduced a new proposed rule on the Federal Register called “Medicare Program: Contract Year 2015 Policy and Technical Changes to the Medicare Advantage and the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Programs.”
The new rule “would revise the Medicare Advantage (MA) program (Part C) regulations and prescription drug benefit program (Part D) regulations to implement statutory requirements; strengthen beneficiary protections; exclude plans that perform poorly; improve program efficiencies; and clarify program requirements,”
The new rule’s stated desire to “strengthen our ability to identify strong applicants for Part C and Part D program participation and remove consistently poor performers” would give the Obama administration new authority to limit health insurance and prescription drug providers under the Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D programs.
**The rule would also violate the Medicare Part D’s law’s “non-interference provision that prohibits the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) from interfering with the negotiations between drug manufacturers and pharmacies and sponsors of prescription drug plans,” according to testimony by American Action Forum president Douglas Holtz-Eakin, violating “congressional intent.”
Rep. Pitts expressed confusion and anger at CMS’ new rule.
“CMS itself says that 96% of the Part D claims it reviewed showed seniors saved money at preferred pharmacies, and nearly 25,500 seniors in my district have chosen Part D plans with a preferred pharmacy network. Yet CMS would take that away from them,” Pitts said.
“The Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit is a government success story. Last year, nearly 39 million beneficiaries were enrolled in a Part D prescription drug plan,” Pitts said.
“Competition and choice have kept premiums stable. In fact, in 2006, the first year the program was in effect, the base beneficiary premium was $32.20 a month. In 2014, the base beneficiary premium is $32.42 — a 22-cent increase over 9 years — and still roughly half of what was originally predicted,” Pitts added. “More than 90% of seniors are satisfied with their Part D drug coverage because of this.
African-American and Hispanic seniors report even higher levels of satisfaction, at 95% and 94%, respectively.” (Why is Obama going to change this plan?? I guess because it works)
“The program has worked so well because it forces prescription drug plans and providers to compete for Medicare beneficiaries — putting seniors, not Washington, in the driver’s seat. Part D should be the model for future reforms to the Medicare program,” Pitts said.
House Energy and Commerce committee chairman Rep. Fred Upton joined with Pitts at the hearing of plans to obtain discountin criticizing the new rule.
“The proposed rule, issued on January 6, 2014, appears to be a direct assault on the competitive structure of the program. It inhibits the ability s for beneficiaries, limits the range of market segments in which they may compete, and usurps the responsibility of states to license those able to prescribe. This 700-page proposal makes numerous changes,” Upton said.
CMS principal deputy administrator Jonathan Blum testified that limiting Part D sponsors to providing only two plans per region will “promote needed clarity of plan choices for beneficiaries.”
More Comments: from seniors **************
Correct. AARP supported Obama care to sell insurance. I think its amusing that Dems always used scare tactics that the Republicans want to destroy SS, and the Democrats have actually did it.
A year-long investigation that revealed how AARP stands to make nearly $1 billion over the next 10 years if ObamaCare remains in effect. When I found out that AARP supported obamacare I dropped my subsription & joined AMAC. I suggest all seniors do the same. AARP can no longer be trusted for the best interest for seniors.
You are absolutely correct. Seniors have already been thrown off the cliff. They just haven’t hit the canyon floor yet. I have a 96 year old aunt who had a TIA and fell a few weeks ago. The doctor refused to send her to rehab telling me I should just put her on hospice because she said she wanted to die. I told him she has been wanting to die for 30 years and the next day she wants a beauty appointment. It was only after the hospice director came down and unleashed a tirade at me “for demanding she be put on hospice” that she got the treatment she needed. The woman said there was nothing wrong with her other than being old. I informed her it was her doctor who was making the demands and I was the guy refusing. She then told me the hospital is penalized for every senior they send to rehab under the new rules. They would come out better if she just went home and died rather than spending a week in a rehab facility so she could return home to her normal life. It has already started. If the GOP has any brains, it will start running ads to seniors about it before November
Comments from Seniors
It is part of Obama’s death to seniors plan, for hospitals to give as little treeatment as possible to senior citizens. The hospital is just following Obama’s rule.. Seniors have no one looking out for their interests. All the political class cares about is all the money they can steal from the benefits they paid for and were promised. Let’s not forget the death panel is for seniors only
Some of the parts of the plan, like ObamaCare plans eliminating the top cancer hospitals and doctors isn’t a death panel, it is a death sentence.
You are spot on. The Democrat party consists of misfits, malcontents, Occupy maggots, and the uneducated. They owe their very existence to those who pander to them with the fruits of someone else’s labor. Oh…they also consist of rich liberals who revel in telling us who we should socialize with, what we should eat, where and the type of housing we should have, what type of fuel we should use, what type of cars we should drive, and respect the Kangaroo rat, Snail Darter, and the Alabama Heelsplitter clam more than the well being of those whose property rights are abridged in the name of “saving” a so called endangered species that have no measurable benefit to society. They are truly indicative that liberalism is a mental illness.
Over the next 10 years obama is stripping the Medicare benefit program by approx $741 bil & stripping the Advantage program by about $390 bil it appears billions are to be transferred to the obamacare program. Currently both Dem’s & Rep’s administrations have taken $1.7 trillion out of our Social Security & Medicare benefit programs to date.
While Republicans got blamed for pushing Granny off the cliff, the Democrats are the ones actually doing the deed. My folks won’t be voting Democrat EVER again…My mother never got into politics until now. She is LIVID about how horrible Democrat controlled healthcare is and how AWFUL it is to live above the poverty line and not qualify for any help while she is paying income taxes on her puny social security income and can’t afford to buy all the meds she needs to live. Old people feel SCREWED by Dems.
But don’t you understand? According to Ezekiel Emanuel (who wrote major portions of the ACA) a 3 year old child with spina bifida will never contribute to the “greater good”. And one who is over 60 has made all the contributions they ever will.
Cass Sunnstein and Ezekiel Emanuel are the ones who wrote this abomination called Obamacare Death panels? Yep!!!
With his history of flip-flopping, shady wheeling-and-dealing, failed governorship and sordid acquaintances, the notion of a second term for this guy strains credulity.
Democrat Crist’s integrity and record. Under Charlie’s watch, unemployment skyrocketed to 11.1 percent and 830,000 jobs were lost. He’s flip-flopped on taxes, the Cuban embargo, health care, the Obama stimulus program and his party affiliation — twice. As far back as October 2010, National Review Online had enough information to compile a “Charlie Crist Flip-Flop Hall of Fame.” Reversals on abortion, gay adoption and offshore drilling were documented, among others.
Most troubling are some of Crist’s closest friends, such as Ponzi-schemer Scott Rothstein, who is serving 50 years in prison. Rothstein recently said under oath that he had a “quid pro quo” relationship with then-Gov. Crist, involving judicial appointments favorable to Rothstein’s firm. In return, Crist would receive large campaign contributions. If even a particle of this is true, what does this say about the man’s character, judgment and respect for the law?
Charlie Crist failed as governor once and was trounced
Crist switches teams and endorses Obama . A vote for Charlie Crist is a vote for His Pal Obama’s policies for the Elderly. Don’t be fooled !