Two's a Part D, Three's a Crowd Out

  • by: |
  • 11/07/2007
Frank Lichtenberg published a study in Health Affairs demonstrating something that we already knew: a lot of the drug coverage of part D crowded out private drug coverage and increased utilization by about 12 percent. Much of the increase was in the area of generic drug spending. So much for the Big Pharma windfall. Part D was essentially what those of us who supported said it would be: a modernization of Medicare the goal of which would be to extend drug coverage to a program that did not have it and to milions of seniors who were poor and were receiving drug coverage through restrictive Medicaid formularies.

So what's the difference between supporting a Part D crowd out and not an SCHIP crowd out? Part D is a step towards privatizing Medicare -- full of choices and pasrt of an effort to get seniors to buy into private plans and everyone knows it. SCHIP is a step towards socializing healthcare and everyone knows it.

Lichtenberg points out also that Medicare Part D has the benefit of reducing Medicare spending overall. We need studies to demonstrate this happening at various income groups and disease states.

Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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