In any event, Ford's koolaid drinking on price controls contrasts with the bill he co-sponsored with Cal Dooley in 2003 which itself sounds and adds up remarkably like the Part D program now in operation. In case Ford forgot or you didn't know about it, here it is:
Zero-Premium, High-Cost Protection, Part B Drug Benefit
Universal ... Progressive ... Affordable
â€¢ Zero Premium: This benefit would be incorporated into the existing Medicare Part B
program. No separate premium and no increase in Part B premium.
â€¢ Universal Eligibility: All Part B enrollees.
â€¢ Universal Protection Against High Drug Costs: Medicare will pay 80 percent of the
cost of drugs after beneficiary has total drug costs of $4,000. The individual will pay
based on a flat three-tiered co-payment: $4/$16/$24*
â€¢ Benefit Counts All Drug Spending: Negotiated drug costs Î’ not just the
beneficiaries= out-of-pocket spending Î’ counts toward the $4,000 deductible.
â€¢ Low-Income Benefits: Beneficiaries up to 200 percent of poverty will be eligible to
receive enhanced benefits via Medicare drug discount cards, Medicare+Choice,
Medicaid, Medigap, and other new coverage options.
Medicaid â€“ 135% of fpl tiered co-payment: $4/$16/$24*
135% - 150% of fpl tiered co-payment: $6/$24/$36**
150% - 200% of fpl tiered co-payment: $10/$40/$60***
(State option with a federal/state match at the SCHIP rate)
â€¢ Universal Benefit Via Medicare Approved Drug Card Plans: A wide variety of
Medicare approved drug card plans including PBMs, State Assistance Plans, retiree
coverage, Medigap, Medicare + Choice, Medicaid and others that offer all seniors access
to the market-based discounts widely available to people with private insurance. These
discounts would apply to all drug purchases.
â€¢ Universal Benefit Via Current Coverage: Encourage the continuation of current
drug coverage through Employer/Retiree plans, Medigap plans, Medicaid, State
pharmaceutical assistance plans, or Medicare+Choice plans; all based on
reimbursement agreements with Medicare.
â€¢ CBO Cost Estimate: Under $400 billion
"Market-based discounts" "PBMs" "Under 400 billion" Sounds like a program we already know.
I am still waiting to see how the D's will 'negotiate' down drug prices without closing down formularies and restricting choices like the VA does. Can anyone say Third Rail?