One of the most important provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act, passed with only Democratic votes in the U.S. House last summer, was this one: After decades of prior attempts, it finally allows the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to actively negotiate the price of at least some prescription drugs. As explained by the Kaiser Family Foundation:
The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (the Act), signed into law by President Biden in August 2022, includes several provisions to lower prescription drug costs for people with Medicare and reduce drug spending by the federal government. One of the Act’s key drug-related policies is a requirement for the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to negotiate prices with drug companies for certain drugs covered under Medicare Part D (starting in 2026) and Part B (starting in 2028). This new requirement is the culmination of years of debate among lawmakers over whether to grant the federal government the authority to negotiate drug prices in Medicare.
Hmmm...this is a bit odd. Every month for years now, the Centers for Medicare & Medicare Services (CMS) has published a monthly press release with a breakout of total Medicare, Medicaid & CHIP enrollment; the most recent one was posted in late February, and ran through November 2022.
Requires an insurer or health maintenance organization that provides coverage under an Affordable Care Act Marketplace (Marketplace) plan to provide to each individual covered under the Marketplace plan, not more than two months before the birthday on which the individual will become 65 years of age, a written message that includes: (1) a statement that the individual will be eligible to enroll in Medicare during the individual's initial enrollment period, which begins three months before the individual becomes 65 years of age; (2) a statement advising the individual that, in most cases, someone covered by a Marketplace plan will want to end their Marketplace coverage upon becoming eligible for Medicare; and (3) detailed instructions that the individual may follow to cancel the individual's Marketplace plan.
Inflation Reduction Act Tamps Down on Prescription Drug Price Increases Above Inflation
New Medicare Prescription Drug Inflation Rebate Program protects people with Medicare and taxpayers when drug companies increase prices faster than the rate of inflation
HHS announces savings for some people with Medicare on 27 Part B prescription drugs
The Biden-Harris Administration has made lowering prescription drug costs in America a key priority — and President Biden is delivering results. Today, the Department of Health and Human Services, through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), announced 27 prescription drugs for which Part B beneficiary coinsurances may be lower from April 1 – June 30, 2023. Thanks to President Biden’s new law to lower prescription drug costs, some people with Medicare who take these drugs may save between $2 and $390 per average dose starting April 1, depending on their individual coverage. Through the Inflation Reduction Act, President Biden and his Administration are lowering prescription drug costs for American seniors and families.
via the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), by email:
Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the latest enrollment figures for Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). These programs serve as key connectors to care for more millions of Americans.
As of November 2022, 65,372,781 people are enrolled in Medicare. This is an increase of 136,217 since the last report.
35,114,923 are enrolled in Original Medicare.
30,257,858 are enrolled in Medicare Advantage or other health plans. This includes enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans with and without prescription drug coverage.
Based on current COVID-19 trends, the Department of Health and Human Services is planning for the federal Public Health Emergency for COVID-19 (PHE), declared under Section 319 of the Public Health Service Act, to expire at the end of the day on May 11, 2023. Thanks to the Administration’s whole-of-government approach to combatting the virus, we are in a better place in our response than we were three years ago, and we can transition away from an emergency phase.
Over on Twitter, political commentator Krystal Ball made an interesting claim:
A provision in Obamacare allows residents in areas deemed a public health disaster to be covered by Medicare for life. At the very least, East Palestine residents deserve this universal coverage after being exposed to a known carcinogen. https://t.co/ooPYmJ4Y8b