Report: the Progressive Caucus Position Paper:
Source: CPC Press Release, MEDS Plan
Summary of the Medicare Extention of Drugs To Seniors Act (Meds)
MEDS establishes an 80/20 outpatient prescription drug benefit under a new Medicare Part D that will be administered by the Health Care Financing Administration. The plan will cost similar to figures for the Bush prescription drug plan due to this plan’s emphasis on lowering the price of pharmaceuticals.
First-dollar 80%/20% benefit (may charge beneficiary less for generics)
Catastrophic coverage begins at $2000 out-of-pocket.
No beneficiary would have to spend more than $2288 for prescription drugs (including premium)
Prescription Drug Prices:
(Reimportation) Beginning 2003, all FDA-approved prescription would be allowed for importation at world market prices after being tested for safety. Once fully implemented, Medicare could set fee schedules based on imported drug prices.
(Allen Bill) To eliminate price discrimination, manufacturers would charge
Medicare and its beneficiaries the price equal to the lower of either the lowest price paid for the drug by other Federal Government agencies or the manufacturer’s best price for the drug.
(Reasonable Prices) Drugs developed with taxpayer funds would be subject to “reasonable price” agreements when patents are transferred to pharmaceutical companies.
Premiums and Low-income Assistance:
Premiums would be $24/month in the first year and indexed to a pharmaceutical Sustainable Growth Rate, which will ensure that premiums or drug costs do not increase arbitrarily.
The Government would subsidize low-income beneficiaries to the following levels:
100% of the premium and cost sharing for beneficiaries below 135% of poverty.
Partial subsidy on a sliding scale for those between 135% and 150%
Employer Incentive Program:
Employers providing drug coverage equal to or better than the Medicare coverage receive an incentive payment to maintain such coverage.