"Overall, costs for beneficiaries and taxpayers are considerably lower than originally projections, enrollment continues to rise and customer satisfaction remains very high," Kerry Weems, acting administrator at the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), told reporters.
According to Weems, the projected cost for Medicare part D is $117 billion lower over the next decade than experts estimated just last summer. "This means that over the 10-year period [from] 2008 to 2017, the estimated $915 billion cost of Part D fell to $798 billion," he said.
At the same time, he reported, after the third open enrollment period that ended in December, the plan now has an additional 1.5 million people.
"Overall, there are about 25.4 million people enrolled in Part D," Weems said.
Most people surveyed today -- more than 85 percent -- are satisfied with the plan, Weems noted.
Can Part D be made even better -- absolutely. But this is good news worth sharing -- and not because it helps any particular partisan political agenda, but rather because it means that more Americans -- tens of millions of more Americans -- are getting access to the medicines (largely chronic medicines) that will help them live healthier lives. And this, in no small measure, significantly reduces more drastic medical intertventions -- which in turn reduces our overall national health care spending.