TN CONA 2011

A place for Tennessee CONA delegates to discuss our CONA proposals.

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Maddie's Proposal

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1 Maddie's Proposal on Thu May 19, 2011 1:31 pm


Amend Medicare Part D in order to allow the Federal government to negotiate drug prices directly with the pharmaceutical industry.

In a direct manner, this legislation would affect pharmaceutical and insurance companies, and would in turn affect all citizens over the age of 65 and the American taxpayer base.

In 2003, Congress enacted the “Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act” which established a prescription drug program for Medicare (part D of the Medicare bill). This particular legislation not only required Medicare to cover any medication for people over 65 years of age, but also prohibited Medicare from negotiating drug prices with pharmaceutical companies. The only limited negotiation allowed is between pharmaceutical companies and the insurance companies that administer the Medicare prescription drug program.
Although this 2006 enacted legislation was said to benefit the nation’s 40 million senior citizens, it has provided billions of dollars in subsidies to insurance companies and health maintenance organizations at the expense of the American taxpayer and senior citizens. In the first decade of implementation alone, the program was projected to cost taxpayers $700-800 billion and has already exceeded this prediction. Furthermore it was found that Medicare part D pays 30% more for drugs than Medicaid. This discrepancy was worth more than $3.7 billion for pharmaceutical companies in 2006-2007 alone. Additionally Medicare pays 58% more for the most commonly prescribed medications than does the Department of Veterans Affairs, which negotiates directly with pharmaceutical companies.
Ultimately, this legislation was enacted primarily out of the efforts of the pharmaceutical lobby. The pharmaceutical industry now receives immense financial benefits from this law. If measures are not taken to change this legislation, the federal government (i.e. the American taxpayer) will continue its exponential decent into debt while the pharmaceutical industry prospers.

Part D of the Medicare bill should be amended in order to allow Medicare to negotiate prices directly with pharmaceutical companies and avoid inflationary costs and debt. Furthermore a limit should be placed on the number of prescriptions per recipient funded by Medicare, which would allow Medicare to abolish the ‘Donut Hole’.

Amendment of this bill would prevent the exponential increase in pharmaceutical profit at the expense of the American taxpayer. This in turn would save the Federal government billions of dollars annually and provide safe and affordable healthcare to citizens over the age of 65. Ultimately it would help decrease the national deficit.

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2 Re: Maddie's Proposal on Tue May 24, 2011 4:49 pm

Maddie, this is really great. If you move on up to third committee, you should generate plenty of intelligent debate. If anything's the same, you'll find educated high school students generally detest any kind of lobbying, and especially those whose families have trouble paying health insurance. I think an explanation of the donut hole is worth adding to the justification, even if it's another whole paragraph. If people get really specific with things in your proposal, remind them that it's a PROPOSAL, and not a BILL. It's an idea, not a piece of legislature. You're probably going to get some kind of argument about how the system will still be corrupt in any way. The fact that you used a lot of numbers and statistics makes you hard to argue. Good luck!

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