Today, we are launching the “Prescription for Medicare” campaign which focuses on ensuring that changes made to Medicare are the right prescription for seniors.
There’s a lot of talk in Washington right now about changing Medicare Parts B and D to reduce costs. But there are many proposals that are the wrong prescriptions for Medicare, and the seniors and people with disabilities who rely on it, that could jeopardize access and fail to help patients afford their medicines. At the same time, there are proposals that would be the right prescriptions, helping seniors and people with disabilities better access and afford the medicines they need. This new campaign will drive a discussion about how we can productively make changes to Medicare that help the patients who depend on its coverage to access and afford their medicines.
We need to make sure seniors and people with disabilities have the health care they need at a cost they can afford. Medicare Parts B and D have been delivering on that promise for years, providing patients with access to the lifesaving treatments they rely upon while controlling costs through market competition.
Unfortunately, some in Washington are pursuing changes to Medicare that would limit beneficiaries’ access to the medicines of today while jeopardizing the innovations of tomorrow that could save their lives. Proposals that import foreign price controls and limit access to lifesaving innovations like cancer treatments; or force patients to fail first before gaining coverage for the medicine their doctor recommends; or interfere with existing Part D negotiations and put government between patients and their doctors, are all wrong prescriptions for changing Medicare.
Most of these proposals would save money for the government and insurers but would do almost nothing to lower costs for beneficiaries, even as they limit access to the medicines they need.
On the other hand, there are proposals that are the right prescription for Medicare to keep the program working for patients and even working better. These proposals would lower out-of-pocket costs, drive competition in the marketplace, and provide beneficiaries access to the critical treatments and cures of today, as well as tomorrow.
As policymakers continue to discuss changes to Medicare Parts B and D, it’s imperative we make sure these programs fulfill their promise to beneficiaries, the way they were intended, so patients can get the health care they need at a cost they can afford.
Visit PrescriptionForMedicare.org to learn more about the campaign and the right and wrong prescriptions to change Medicare for the patients who rely on it.
Juliet Johnson is a deputy vice president of public affairs at PhRMA focusing on federal advocacy communications. Prior to joining PhRMA, Juliet was most recently the Director of Communications at CMS. She previously worked for a senior Member of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, and she has spent a number of years at large public affairs firms providing strategic communications counsel, coalition management and media relations to clients. Outside the office, Juliet enjoys long dinners with friends, SoulCycle, SEC football, her golden retriever Shiloh and a good scotch.