House to introduce Medicare drug cost bill

Jan 10, 2007

Democrats in the U.S. House said they plan to introduce legislation that would require the government to negotiate prices for Medicare prescription drugs.

The move, lawmakers said, would be one way to reduce the impact of the program's coverage gap, the so-called "doughnut hole" which forces seniors and the disabled with high drug costs to pay the full price for several months, USA Today said. The law currently bars the government from negotiations, which are handled by private insurance plans in each state.

After a rocky start in January 2005, a majority of seniors support the plan, surveys indicated. What is bothersome, though, is the coverage gap encountered by seniors whose total drug costs exceed $2,400. Until they pay $3,850 on their own, they receive no coverage.

Medicare negotiating drug prices would help narrow the gap, proponents said.

"This is an issue that both seniors and the public feel fairly strongly about," Tricia Neuman, director of the Medicare Policy Project at the Kaiser Family Foundation, told USA Today.

In opposing the bill, congressional Republicans, the White House, health insurers and drug manufacturers said it measure would lead to price controls and restrictions on new medicines.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Experts call for higher exam pass marks to close performance gap between international and UK medical graduates

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Drug benefit expanded to 1 million more seniors

Jan 08, 2010

(AP) -- In case the prospect of nearly $4,000 in prescription assistance isn't enough to perk up low-income seniors, the government is using '60s singer Chubby Checker to publicize "the twist" in the Medicare ...

Seniors in Medicare's doughnut hole decrease use of meds

Feb 03, 2009

Beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Part D who reached a gap in health care coverage known as the "doughnut hole" were much less likely to use prescription drugs than those with an employer-based plan, according to a University ...

Medicare drug plan changes affect seniors

Oct 04, 2006

U.S. officials say changes in the Medicare prescription drug plan for next year will include more choices and better coverage especially in the "doughnut hole."

Recommended for you

Obese British man in court fight for surgery

Jul 11, 2011

A British man weighing 22 stone (139 kilograms, 306 pounds) launched a court appeal Monday against a decision to refuse him state-funded obesity surgery because he is not fat enough.

2008 crisis spurred rise in suicides in Europe

Jul 08, 2011

The financial crisis that began to hit Europe in mid-2008 reversed a steady, years-long fall in suicides among people of working age, according to a letter published on Friday by The Lancet.

New food labels dished up to keep Europe healthy

Jul 06, 2011

A groundbreaking deal on compulsory new food labels Wednesday is set to give Europeans clear information on the nutritional and energy content of products, as well as country of origin.

Overweight men have poorer sperm count

Jul 04, 2011

Overweight or obese men, like their female counterparts, have a lower chance of becoming a parent, according to a comparison of sperm quality presented at a European fertility meeting Monday.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Treating depression in Parkinson's patients

A group of scientists from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging has found interesting new information in a study on depression and neuropsychological function in Parkinson's ...

Impact glass stores biodata for millions of years

(Phys.org) —Bits of plant life encapsulated in molten glass by asteroid and comet impacts millions of years ago give geologists information about climate and life forms on the ancient Earth. Scientists ...