The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) DOES Affect Older Americans
President Thair Phillips
Over the years RetireSafe has stood up for older Americans by fighting to preserve the benefits they have earned while also encouraging common sense solutions to problems. We think that Medicare Part D, the 10 year old Medicare prescription drug program, is a perfect example of how encouraging free market competition has kept costs down while maintaining a high level of patient satisfaction. It seems that Washington doesn’t know a good thing when it’s staring them in the face.
One of the important parts of Medicare Part D was the regulation that protected certain critical classes of medicine by requiring all drug plans to include them and by not requiring patients to fail first on another drug before switching to a certain type of medication, one that likely works best. It allowed the doctor, who best understood the patient that he or she was treating, to choose the best medicine for their patient. These types of drugs were categorized into six protected classes. There was language inserted into the Affordable Care Act (often called Obamacare) specifically to keep the door open to add more drugs, if necessary, to these classes or to even add additional classes of drugs. CMS (the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services) has decided that this language gave them the right, not only to add drugs or classes, but to eliminate two classes of drugs. The Affordable Care Act, with the presumed power assumed by CMS, has the potential to harm seniors by limiting their options, forcing some to change plans or doctors, and potentially raising the cost on the drugs they are taking now or forcing them to go to a new drug. All for the sake of saving money in a program that has cost 40% less than projected over ten years!
RetireSafe opposed taking more than $700 billion out of Medicare to finance Obamacare; we were against the appointment of government bureaucrats that would wield an indiscriminate ax to extract short sighted savings from Medicare; and now we are strongly opposed to this proposed rule that would put vulnerable patients at risk in an ill-advised effort to save money in one of the few, if not the only, government program that has consistently come in with actual costs under budget.
RetireSafe will fight CMS’ ill-advised proposed rule. We will make our voice heard, to CMS by responding formally during the short period allowed for comments, and on the Hill with Congress. The Administration has more than enough problems dealing with the implementation of Obamacare, it shouldn’t be messing with a program that is cost effective and successful. More importantly, it should not be endangering patients by changing the critical protection of the “Six Protected Drug Classes.” In this case, if it’s not broken – don’t break it!
More thoughts from President Phillips...