Gardner Sends Letter to Protect Part D

Washington, DC – Rep. Cory Gardner (CO-04) sent a letter to President Obama today praising the success of the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit program. The letter urges the President to reconsider his proposals for Medicaid-style price control, and to stop interference into the highly successful program. Ten years after its creation, Medicare Part D is 45% under budget. Only in Washington would there be a big government solution in search of a problem that does not exist.

The letter said, in part:

“This year marks the ten year anniversary of the creation of the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit.  Today, 90 percent of Medicare beneficiaries have comprehensive prescription drug coverage.  And importantly, 94 percent of enrollees are satisfied with their coverage.  What’s more, the program has come in a remarkable 45 percent under budget.  Part D’s record of access, beneficiary satisfaction, and cost control is exceeding all expectations.

“In addition to Part D coming in 45 percent under budget, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has reduced its ten-year projections for Part D by over $100 billion in each of the last three years.  And earlier this year, Medicare Trustees announced that per-person spending for Part D actually declined last year, while spending increased for Parts A and B.  As a result, enrollees will see an average monthly premium of $31 for 2014, less than half of the $64 originally predicted.  

“Yet, despite this track record, your budget proposes to fundamentally alter Part D through more government control and interference.  Specifically, your budget would impose a Medicaid-style price control, known as a rebate, on prescription drugs.  You have also proposed that the government interfere in private plan negotiations, virtually setting drug prices.  Such policies would undermine Part D, potentially leading to higher premiums and copays and reduced coverage options.   Only in Washington would there be a big government solution in search of a problem that does not exist.

“Part D works because it relies on the power of the market and engaged consumers, not government micromanagement.  We urge you to reconsider your approach for the millions of Medicare beneficiaries relying on Part D today and in the future”

155 Members of Congress signed Congressman Gardner’s letter.

To view the letter in its entirety, click here.

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Congressman Gardner is a member in the U.S. House of Representatives serving Colorado's 4th Congressional District. He sits on the Energy and Commerce Committee and is a member of the following Subcommittees: Communications and Technology, Energy and Power, and Oversight and Investigations.

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