PCMA legal complaint seeks relief for Medicare beneficiaries after Trump administration’s own actuaries say rule would increase Part D premiums by up to 25%
Washington, D.C. (January 12, 2021) – Better Medicare Alliance (BMA), the leading research and advocacy organization supporting Medicare Advantage, responded today to a new legal complaint filed by the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) against the recently finalized Medicare Part D rebate rule.
The complaint follows a years-long advocacy campaign against the rule from the Better Medicare Alliance and others. It argues that the rebate rule violates the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and did not follow proper protocol, as it was initially withdrawn in July 2019 then abruptly finalized without the requisite new notice and comment period.
BMA’s grassroots beneficiary advocates sent more than 10,000 letters to Congress and the administration against the rebate rule in 2020 alone. The organization also led a coalition of more than 20 health care leaders in sending an August 2020 letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar warning of “severe financial distress” to Medicare Advantage beneficiaries under the rule.
“Better Medicare Alliance stands with PCMA and the diverse chorus of organizations speaking up on behalf of seniors whose health and financial security is threatened by this deeply flawed rule,” said Allyson Y. Schwartz, President and CEO of the Better Medicare Alliance. “The Trump administration’s own actuaries found that the rebate rule could raise Medicare Part D premiums by 19% in the first year and 25% in the decade thereafter, marking the largest premium increase in Part D history. Meanwhile, the cost of the rule is pegged at up to $196 billion over the course of the decade – all for a policy that won’t reduce prescription drug list prices for the vast majority of beneficiaries.”
Schwartz continued, “The rebate rule isn’t just poor policymaking. As this complaint argues, it may very well skirt the law. PCMA’s legal challenge identifies several violations of the Administrative Procedure Act that deserve careful review. Whether through courts, Congress, or the incoming administration, we will work with our Ally organizations and beneficiary advocates to see this rule overturned and to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries are protected.”
- Press Release: Finalization of rebate rule will harm Medicare beneficiaries – November 16, 2020
- Op-Ed from BMA President and CEO Allyson Y. Schwartz: “Rebate Rule 2.0’ Rejects New Ideas to Lower Drug Costs in Favor of Failed Reruns”– August 18, 2020
- Letter: Better Medicare Alliance leads more than 20 Ally organizations in urging HHS to halt finalization of proposed rebate rule – August 28, 2020
- Fact Sheet: Elimination of Current Manufacturer Rebates in Part D will Harm Medicare Beneficiaries