Currently, there is a gap in Medicare funding that requires recipients to spend a significant portion of their income on medication. This gap begins when a recipient’s total annual drug costs reach $2,700 and continues until they have spent more than $4,000 of their own money. During this time, recipients also pay the full price for their medication. For many, this combination stresses their personal finances and some are forced to choose between medicine and other necessities. Under the proposed plan, Medicare recipients, many of whom are senior citizens and on fixed incomes, would get $30 billion in discounts that would, in effect, cut in half the price of prescription-drug costs during the coverage gap. Those who need help paying for prescriptions drugs can finally get the assistance they need.
This is but one part of an $80 billion dollar investment, spread out over ten years, on the part of the drug industry that could help drastically change the way health care is managed in this country. The remaining $50 billion dollars would go directly to the U.S. government and will be applied toward a long awaited overhaul of the nation’s healthcare system. This deal was made attractive to both the drug and insurance industries because they stand to benefit greatly. By supporting and investing in health care reform, these industries will eventually have access to the more than 40 million Americans who currently have no health insurance. Once insured, these individuals will form a new customer base that will grow the industries’ profit margin.
It’s not often the private sector and government work together in a way that benefits the average American. But, with this agreement, the drug companies managed to do just that while remaining focused to their bottom line. Congress still has to approve this plan; this is where you come in. Call and write your elected officials and encourage them to support this partnership and approve the legislation. You may visit www.USA.gov if you don’t already know how to contact your representatives in Congress.