Part D: Bending the Medicare Cost Curve

Part D: Bending the Medicare Cost Curve

02.22.13 | By

The numbers are in. In its February annual budget forecast, the Congressional Budget Office dropped its 10-year Medicare spending projection by $137 billion, citing the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit as the single biggest factor for the lowered estimate. How big? A whopping 75 percent of the reduced projection was attributed to a drop in Part D spending.

Part D's 10-year projection has now been reduced by over $100 billion the past three years, and these projections are almost half of their initial estimated cost when the program was enacted seven years ago. Through market-based competition, Part D is successfully able to offer a mix of plans to help seniors access medicines which, in turn, helps them adhere to doctors' orders. This improved use of medicines helps lower other health costs, such as hospitalizations and expensive procedures.

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This latest budget forecast is further proof that Part D is a major asset. Let's not ruin a very good thing with unsound policy proposals.

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