Cutting Medicare payments for prescription drugs would hurt seniors and slow drug development in the process.
The Biden administration is reportedly contemplating major cuts in Medicare payments for prescription drugs to fund another enormous omnibus spending bill. Yet drug prices paid by Medicare have risen less than the general rate of inflation over the past decade and represent some of the best value for money in American health care. Seniors’ anxiety over drug expenses reflects rising consumption levels and high out-of-pocket-cost requirements. Congress should fix the structure of Medicare’s prescription-drug benefit rather than raid the program in a way that would truncate the rewards for future drug development.
A year ago, the Congressional Budget Office projected a federal deficit of just over $1 trillion for 2020. Legislation intended to get Americans through COVID-19 has cost $5 trillion more, and the Biden administration is now considering an additional $3 trillion bill — pushing the year’s total spending spree above $25,000 per household.
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