Recently we saw the bipartisan passage of House Bill 2 (H.R. 2), the Medicare Access bill, by both Houses of Congress and signed by the President. The bill was positive in several regards but negative from at least two others.
It did not address prescription drug costs in any significant way as proposed by Senate bills 31 and 122. S31 would allow Medicare to negotiate for drug prices, just as the VA does.
Doing so would save Medicare $121 billion over 10 years. S 122 would allow importation of prescription drugs from FDA approved Canadian pharmacies at prices often 50 percent lower for the same medicine in the USA, saving the public, including those on Medicare an estimated $240 Billion over 10 years.
Outrageous price increases on brand name drugs and even generics are being seen. Congress should pass these bills before other major changes to Medicare are considered and ensure Medicare solvency.
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The writer lives in Surfside Beach.