January 9, 2014
The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) issued the following statement today on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Medicare Parts C and D Proposed Rule:
“Amidst the rancor in health care today, Medicare Part D has remained constant in its ability to offer generous, affordable prescription drug benefits to 36 million beneficiaries. The program routinely comes in under budget and delivers premiums far below those anticipated at the program’s inception.
“It’s no wonder polls show that seniors overwhelmingly like their prescription drug plan and would be sorely disappointed if it became unavailable in the future. We view Part D regulations in terms of whether they make it easier or harder for plans to continue meeting seniors’ high expectations.
“Part D’s success is largely due to its reliance on competition to drive prices down and ensure that beneficiaries have an array of attractive options to choose from. The Medicare Part D statute does not allow the government to interfere with plans’ ability to negotiate discounts from participating drug manufacturers or drugstores.
“CMS’ nearly 700 page Part D proposed rule will take time to fully digest and we realize it’s been a challenge to make changes to Medicare while implementing the Affordable Care Act. While the proposed rule appears to include some positive aspects, it also seeks new authority to micromanage and change Part D in ways that could increase costs and undermine the stability of the program.
“For example, reducing the choice of plans in 2015 would mean that many seniors will learn this October they no longer have access to the plans they currently enjoy.”