Friday Night Owls: Sen. Sanders: Congress must end the ‘nat’l embarrassment’ of Medicare drug prices

Friday Night Owls: Sen. Sanders: Congress must end the ‘nat’l embarrassment’ of Medicare drug prices

Night Owls is a themed open thread appearing at Daily Kos seven days a week

Jessica Corbett at Common Dreams  writes—‘Congress Must End This National Embarrassment,’ Says Sanders After CBO Reveals High Drug Prices for Medicare Part D:

Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thursday responded with outrage and a demand for reform after a new federal analysis revealed that Medicare Part D, which is utilized by tens of millions of Americans, pays far more for prescription medications than any other government health program.

Sanders (I-Vt.) commissioned the new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report on Medicare Part D, an optional prescription drug benefit for people with Medicare that is provided through private insurers. The majority of those with Medicare are enrolled in a Part D plan.

The CBO analysis focused on the prices of 176 top-selling brand-name drugs and found an average net price of $343 for Medicare Part D. That compared with $118 for Medicaid, $190 for the Department of Veterans Affairs, $184 for the Department of Defense, and $272 for the DoD TRICARE retail pharmacy network.

The report noted that “the much lower net prices in Medicaid are the result of higher manufacturer rebates in that program than in Medicare Part D.” For specialty drugs, the average price ranges from $1,889 in Medicaid to $4,293 in Medicare Part D.

“There is no rational reason why Medicare pays nearly three times more than Medicaid and about twice as much as the VA for the same exact medicine,” Sanders declared. […]

The CBO report follows the January release of a Government Accountability Office (GAO) study, also commissioned by Sanders, which found that in a “sample of 399 brand-name and generic prescription drugs, the VA paid an average of 54% less per unit than Medicare, even after taking into account rebates and discounts.” […]

Last week, a panel of policy experts and medical professionals who examined the healthcare legacy of the Trump administration released a report stating that its policies did not “represent a radical break with the past but have merely accelerated the decades-long trend of lagging life expectancy that reflects deep and long-standing flaws in U.S. economic, health, and social policy.”

They concluded that “single-payer, Medicare for All reform is the only way forward.”

TOP COMMENTS • RESCUED DIARIES 

TWEET OF THE DAY

We’ve landed on Mars, we’ve landed on Mars—but don’t forget to boil your water before drinking it.

— Lakota Man (@LakotaMan1) February 19, 2021

QUOTATION

“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing which stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity […] and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself. As a man is, so he sees.”
         ~~William Blake, 1799

BLAST FROM THE PAST

On this date at Daily Kos in 2003—Blair faces party revolt; U.S. loses Canada:

It is clear that the governments of the UK, Spain, and Italy have real decisions to make — to represent the will of their people or risk losing power in defense of Bush’s invasion.

In England, support for Blair and the war are plummeting despite a months-long PR campaign to prop up popular support. And, Labor’s left wing is openly talking revolt if Britain goes to war without UN Security Council approval.

“This is crunch time for Tony Blair,” said Alan Simpson, a leader of Labor’s antiwar faction in the House of Commons. “He can lead the war party or the Labor Party, but he can’t lead both. It’s quite clear if he goes off to war, he will have left the party behind him.”

Blair’s political difficulties seem to have convinced the US to seek a second resolution, even while publicly arguing it doesn’t require one.

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