The Medicare Prescription Drug Program, also known as Medicare Part D, is the federal program that gives more than 27 million seniors access to prescription medications. Signed into law by President Bush and expanded by President Obama, Medicare Part D is a bipartisan program that works.
By encouraging adherence to medication and making prescription drugs more affordable for seniors, Part D saves Medicare over $12 billion a year--that's about $1,200 for every senior enrolled in the program. The Part D program actually costs 41% less than originally anticipated, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Moreover, the vast majority of seniors are satisfied with Part D--in a recent survey by Medicare Today, 90% of seniors enrolled in Part D reported that the program works well and meets their expectations. Part D gives seniors peace of mind that they will be able to afford the medicines they need to maintain their health, and that they and their doctors will be able to choose from a variety of prescription drugs to find the medicine that works best for their personal needs.
Unfortunately, Medicare Part D's future in jeopardy. As we saw during last year's Congressional "super committee negotiations", some government officials view Part D as an entitlement that can be cut to reduce federal spending. As we look toward next year and future discussions about deficit reduction, we expect to see proposals that would drastically alter the current Part D program.
CMM will keep you updated on any policies that would impact Medicare Part D's success, and will continue to advocate against any changes to Part D that would reduce seniors' access to prescription drugs.