BETTER MEDICARE ALLIANCE STATEMENT ON CBO SCORE OF MEDICARE REBATE PROPOSAL
ANALYSIS OF ADMINISTRATION’S PROPOSED REBATE RULE CONFIRMS HIGHER PREMIUMS FOR MEDICARE PART D ENROLLEES
Washington, D.C. – Better Medicare Alliance (BMA) President and CEO Allyson Y. Schwartz released the following statement in response to a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) scoring of the Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s proposed rule eliminating current safe harbors for Medicare prescription drug rebates:
“The CBO analysis underscores consensus that the Administration’s proposal to eliminate current Medicare Part D rebates that help to offset the cost of prescription drugs to Medicare beneficiaries is ill-advised.
“In fact, the CBO analysis released yesterday confirms that the Administration’s proposal will not achieve the goal of reducing prescription drug prices, will increase premiums for beneficiaries and will cost the federal government hundreds of millions of dollars.
“Since the Administration announced the proposed rule, more evidence has shown both the likelihood of not achieving the intended goal of reducing list prices set by drug manufacturers, as well as the potential negative impact to Medicare Part D beneficiaries. HHS’ own analysis projected that Part D premiums could rise 19 percent in the first year, and 25 percent over the next ten years. Independent analysis has shown that the proposal could reduce Medicare Advantage Part D (MA-PD) plan funds that finance supplemental benefits, exposing 16.4 million individuals to higher out-of-pocket costs and reduced benefits. Additionally, 8.6 million beneficiaries in MA-PD plans who pay premiums could face an increase of $29 in monthly premiums.
”And, despite intentions by HHS to delay the financial impact of this proposal for Medicare Part D beneficiaries for two years, over 4 million Medicare Advantage beneficiaries enrolled in employer-sponsored retiree plans – including former teachers, local and state government employees, and first responders – will have no relief in 2020 if this proposal is finalized. In addition, the CBO was clear that the estimated cost to federal government will be $170 billion dollars and $7 billion to Medicaid programs over ten years, which is even higher than costs estimated made by CMS.
“At a time when so many are struggling with high cost of prescription drugs, Better Medicare Alliance urges the Administration to shield all beneficiaries from higher costs and withdraw the proposed rule to eliminate current Medicare prescription drug rebates.”