Medicare Part D Changes Get Support from Obama Administration In Face of Stiff Resistance
The Obama white house defended its proposed revamp of the Medicare Part D program on February 25 after a heated response from critics. The prescription drug program benefits medicare beneficiaries and disabled Americans and is provided by private insurers who have been very outspoken about their resistance to the proposed changes.
The alterations were first brought up by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in January. From the details provided at the time it was clear that the federal body was looking at changing the program from its core by affecting certain drugs the plans cover, pharmacy networks and even the number of policies being sold in different areas.
Opponents believe that these new changes will leave some medicare beneficiaries uncovered for medicines they need and also reduce their overall choice of plans. Jonathan Blum, the current head of Medicare, has stated to in a testimony to a congressional panel that the changes are need to reduce costs. He has said that, “In order for Part D to remain successful, we have to celebrate its successes and address its vulnerabilities.”
The Medicare Part D program was the brain child of the George W. Bush administration almost 10 years ago. At the time the program was launched with $70 billion dollars and to date it has cost $346 Billion. This is almost half of what planners had expected cost to be making it a fairly popular and successful program. Interestingly, a staggering 95% of medicare beneficiaries enrolled in Part D claim that they are satisfied with the program.