Medicare Parts B and D have played an important role in providing seniors with access to the lifesaving treatments they need and have been successful in delivering value to both the health care system and patients. Recently, these programs have become the subject of focus for policymakers looking to find ways to reduce overall costs for the government.
Some of the changes being considered would go a long way to help seniors who are facing higher out-of-pocket costs at the pharmacy counter, including proposed reforms to Part D that would require insurers to share rebates with beneficiaries at the point of sale. However, while other proposals would cut costs for the government and insurers, they would provide little, if any, relief to seniors, could limit their access to much-needed medicines and could discourage continued medical innovation here in the United States.
To discuss these proposals and other potential solutions to improve the Medicare program, PhRMA, in partnership with The Atlantic, will bring together policymakers and key health care stakeholders in a conversation titled The State of Care: The Future of Medicare. The event will feature policymaker interviews, including with John O’Brien, senior advisor for Drug Pricing at the Department of Health and Human Services and two expert panels with key voices from across the health care continuum, including Liz Fowler, vice president of Global Health Policy at Johnson & Johnson. Additionally, in a sponsored conversation, Alliance for Health Policy’s president and CEO Sarah Dash with conduct a fireside chat with PhRMA president and CEO Stephen J. Ubl.
As we look to evolve Medicare for the future, we need to fully consider the far-reaching implications of each policy proposal not just on government spending but on the ability of seniors to access and afford their medicines. To learn more about ways we can help seniors pay less out of pocket and improve access in Medicare, visit www.prescriptionformedicare.org.
Andrew Powaleny is Senior Director of Public Affairs at PhRMA and leads the organizations scientific communications. Before joining PhRMA in 2015, he worked in public affairs for a small firm in Washington, DC and served as Deputy Press Secretary for the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Andrew came to Washington, D.C. via Connecticut with a degree from Eastern Connecticut State University where he majored in public policy and government. Andrew is active as a runner and volunteer with the DC Front Runners; most recently serving on its Board of Directors for three years as co-race director. He is also a member of the NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists and mentors students through his alumni association with The Fund for American Studies. Andrew is passionate about scientific innovation, especially for mental illness, and his heroes are the men and women of America’s biopharmaceutical research companies.