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The following is from Medicare Watch, a biweekly electronic newsletter of the Medicare Rights Center. For more info, see Vol. 11, No. 25: December 9, 2008 at www.medicarerights.org.
"2. STUDY: PART D DID NOT LOWER HEALTH COSTS FOR MOST OLDER ADULTS
Medicare's Part D prescription drug benefit has not significantly reduced health care-related expenditures for people with Medicare, according to a new study conducted by The Center for Economic and Police Research (CEPR).
Middle- and high income households with Medicare coverage actually experienced a more rapid increase in prescription drug and insurance expenditures since the implementation of the drug benefit. For example, 20 percent of the older adult population with annual incomes averaging $14,836 in 2006 saw drug and insurance spending rise by 15.6 percent between 2005 and 2006, compared to an average 8 percent increase for all households during the same period.
The study acknowledges that the increase in expenditures by middle- and higher-income households may correspond to the greater use of drugs that improve health.
Low-income households, those in which individuals qualified for some type of health assistance program, were the only group to experience decreases or significantly slower rates of spending increases from year to year since the implementation of Part D. For example, expenditures on health insurance and prescription drugs by households with the lowest income - average incomes of $7718 per year - dropped by 9.8 percent from 2005 to 2006. CEPR specualted that the decrease in expenditures was likely the result of subsidies for Part D coverage provided to low-income people through the Extra Help program.
CEPR used the Consumer Expenditure Survey conducted ty the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics to examine changes in health care-related spending across income levels in households of people with Medicare from 2004 to 2006."
My take on this in brief is the poor enjoyed a decrease as a result of the "Extra Help" provision, but most everyone else took an increase prior to MMA2003 and Part D. I rejoice in the fact that the disadvantaged have benefitted, but according to this study and in my opinion, everyone else continues to suffer price gouging by the pharmaceuticals.
Do the pharmaceuticals rob from the rich, middle class and governmental subsidies to support the poor rather than from the excesses of their management, stockholders and profits?
"Do the pharmaceuticals rob from the rich, middle class and governmental subsidies to support the poor rather than from the excesses of their management, stockholders and profits?"
Yes, that seems to be the case. After all, the PHARMA lobbyists wrote the Medicare, Part D Law!