Fittest loser
Article posted: 4/8/2013 5:00 AM

Competition helps keep Medicare working

  • Article
text size: AAA

Medicare has plenty of issues that need to be fixed. The Part D program isn't one of them and our seniors know it -- but President Obama doesn't. If the president has his way, seniors may lose a great benefit.

The Congressional Budget Office keeps finding cost savings in Medicare Part D, Medicare's Prescription Drug Benefit Plan. That's good news for the about 900,000 Illinois seniors who have Part D plans. Unlike other parts of Medicare, Part D is run entirely by private insurance companies who compete to sign up seniors and then bargain hard with drug companies for the best price on lifesaving drugs.

Advertisement

Seniors get to choose what works best for them, and the competition keeps costs in check. Perhaps that's why 90 percent of enrollees say they are satisfied with their Part D plans. Premiums in 2012 averaged well below the initial $56 forecast and costs to Medicare are 43 percent below initial projections. And because seniors can afford prescriptions, they remain healthier, saving Medicare $12 billion on hospital and skilled nursing facilities.

Unfortunately, President Obama is on a misguided crusade to gut the program. In a desperate search for government revenues to service other, less well-functioning programs, the president is urging Congress to coerce drug manufacturers to kick back to the federal government 15-23 percent of the cost of drugs provided to low-income seniors, regardless of the competitive price negotiated by the insurer and manufacturer. Former Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin estimates that this could result in seniors' Part D premiums increasing by 20-40 percent.

Medicare Part D proves free market principles can improve health care outcomes. We should apply these reforms to other parts of Medicare, not erode Part D.

David W. From

Naperville

Illinois state director

Americans for Prosperity

Comments ()
We are now using Facebook comments to offer a more inclusive, social and constructive discussion. Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.

This article filed under

Latest Video

MostViewed

Today
Yesterday
Most Commented
Top Jobs

    View all Top Jobs Place a job ad

    MarketsReport

    DHExtras

       
    • Newspaper next section - Newspaper next section Report card checker - report card checker
    • Dh innovation award 2 - Dh innovation award 2 Zillow /real estate page
    • Discuss refer On Guard series
    • Newspaper archives -- Monday or anyday Mike North

    FacebookActivity

    BusinessDirectory

    Connect with a business or service in your area fast. First select a town, then enter a search term or choose one of the listed popular searches:

    Don't see your town listed? Visit our full directory to begin your search.