Wednesday, December 28, 2016

2017: Looking Forward -- For At Least Some "New Hope" -- Expanded Medicare Part D Drug Coverage Likely To Continue, Under Mr. Trump

If he remains even remotely true to his word, and the elite GOP folks in Congress don't stupidly mess things up, there is a strong possibility that the highly popular Medicare Part D expanded drug cost coverage program will continue in 2017 and beyond.

With PhRMA solidly touting it (why wouldn't it? -- as this leads to more drug-price coverage) -- and with most people saying it works well, at an acceptable cost -- I think even the elite Republicans will avoid tinkering with it. Here's a bit from the PhRMA blog, overnight, on it all:

. . . .Part D expanded coverage to millions of Americans who previously didn’t have access to comprehensive prescription drug coverage. Prior to implementation of Part D, fewer than 6 in 10 Medicare beneficiaries had comprehensive prescription drug coverage. Thanks to Part D, that number has increased to 9 in 10 Medicare beneficiaries. And in 2016, there was an average of 26 Part D plan choices available to beneficiaries in every region. Learn more here.

Part D continues to offer affordable prescription drug coverage with monthly premiums remaining relatively stable and substantially less than original projections for 2017. And the generic utilization rate for Part D beneficiaries has steadily increased each year, from 84 percent in 2013 to 86 percent in 2015. The program also keeps costs low for taxpayers, with total Part D costs coming in $349 billion less than the initial 10-year projections. Learn more here.

Part D helps beneficiaries live longer, healthier lives with nearly 200,000 Medicare beneficiaries having lived at least one year longer since Part D was implemented in 2006. And the average increase in longevity for beneficiaries is 3.3 years. This improved health also helps reduce other health care spending through fewer hospitalizations and a reduction in nondrug medical spending for Medicare beneficiaries. Learn more here. . . .

Now, as many already likely detected/observed, the title to the post this morning pays homage to the star on the masthead -- another one whose passing has arrived all too soon. Even so. . . "Punch it, Chewy!" She's catching a ride out, via hyper-drive. . . Onward -- on a clear cold morning, to the trains. . . smile. Tryin' to get that mo jo back. . . .


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