While campaigning during the recent mid-term elections, many Democrats vowed to address issues with Medicare’s Part D drug program. Although Democrats argue many components of the plan need to be overhauled, the initial focus of reform seems to be centered around allowing the government to negotiate directly with pharmaceutical companies in order to secure lower pricing. Presently, such negotiations are prohibited by legislation.

In response, Medicare spokesperson Roseanne Pawelec points out Part D already recognizes savings available from buying drugs in bulk – those savings being from prices negotiated by individual insurance companies.

Many, including those in the Bush administration, believe the plan is effective as is and is not in need of reform. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) refers to a recent survey that indicates 80% of participants are satisfied with Part D. Additionally, Medicare officials contend the plan saves participants an average of $1,200 per year.

Source: www.ConcordMonitor.com, 11-14-06