Advocacy / Legislation Support Letters / Politics

Medicare Part D Regulations Letter

AMAC was recently asked by the House Health Subcommittee (part of the Energy and Commerce Committee) to provide our support to retain the current structure of Medicare Part D, which is the prescription drug aspect of the Medicare program. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are currently proposing changes that may threaten access and choice of medications for physicians and the seniors that they treat. AMAC recognizes that Medicare Part D, in its current constitution, has been overwhelmingly successful in driving down medication costs for seniors while providing access to an extensive selection of drugs with which physicians may choose to treat their patients. Medicare Part D is a private-public partnership that not only works, but has positively impacted the lives of the seniors it was created to serve.

 

February 25th, 2014

The Honorable Joe Pitts The Honorable Frank Pallone, Jr.
16th District, Pennsylvania 6th District, New Jersey
420 Cannon House Office Building 237 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515 Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Pitts and Ranking Member Pallone,

On behalf of the 1.1 million members of the Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC), I am writing to express our deep concern regarding newly proposed regulations for the Medicare Part D prescription drug program and how they may negatively impact the health care coverage of mature Americans and seniors.

AMAC is in favor of leaving the Medicare Part D market-based, public-private partnership between drug manufacturers and health plan sponsors in its current structure. The majority of medication costs have already come out of the Part D program due to the generic status of the many maintenance drugs that are commonly prescribed. Generic drug usage dominates throughout the program and provides many choices for both physicians and patients. If anything, interference by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in the Part D program – particularly with protected class medications – could limit access to drugs and sharply reduce choice.

As a champion of free market solutions, AMAC remains concerned that these new regulations will unnecessarily expand the government’s role in the Medicare Part D program, ultimately leading to unnecessary burdens and costs to providers and consumers. AMAC is also concerned that the proposed regulations appear to conflict with the intent of Part D as it was originally written, and deliberately circumvent Congressional processes.

AMAC strongly opposes attempts by the Administration to exert more control over valued programs like Medicare Part D that already work efficiently and effectively and enjoy significant popularity among older Americans.

As the fastest-growing seniors’ advocacy organization in the country, AMAC remains committed to ensuring that mature Americans are able to maintain access to the cost-effective Medicare Part D benefits they prefer. Thank you for your concern and attention to this critical matter.

Sincerely,
Dan Weber
President and Founder of AMAC

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George Reagan, Fort Worth, TX
7 years ago

We, the people, valid voters and tax payers, need to dump all of the so called political hacks (demowits and RINOs) and bring back common sense and balanced budgets. Our recent demowit slavery (the Great Society by LBJ) has gone out of control. The fed government has grown into a massive monster that we can’t seem to control. Smaller government, less regulation and laws that restrict the citizens and fewer protected special classes. It’s time for another Boston Tea Party and Revolution.

Linda
7 years ago

Too bad you didn’t include a petition that all members could sign agreeing with your letter.

Joan B
7 years ago

last year I pd 24.00 a month for my plan D and all of my drugs but 2 were free. This year I pay 42.00 a month and all of my drugs are 3.00 a month and for a 90 day supply 9.00. My heart medication is 88.00 for a 30 day supply. I make 22,000 a year. Needless to say I can not afford my heart medication. Because my disabled daughter lives with me they take in her income too. She has M.S. and needs all her money for her care. Vote every one in Congress out and get in some with back bone. Wake up America before it is too late I’m just afraid it already is.

Bernie
7 years ago

I am confused by your letter? My generic drug price has just doubled this year, My cost for celebrex has
gone from $79.00 for a 90 day supply to $216.00 for 90 days. I am not feeling good about Medicare Part D.

Are you sure we reducing the cost of drugs to seniors???

Carol Mac
7 years ago

I have been on Medicare (Part D) since last June. I have recently felt the terrible effects of this program. I was denied coverage for a doctor prescribed medication and told that Medicare covered nothing that would help my situation. The medication would cost $400, if I wanted to pay for it. I was told by pharmacists that come November, the situation will become worse.

Barbara J. Rice
7 years ago

1. Term limits for ALL elected officials.
2. No retirement pay from their government service, unless it is with the armed forces.
3. Take a leave of absence from current job, serve your terms, return to regular job and retire from THAT job.
4. All government servants must show legal birth certificates. Only natural born citizens should be elected President/V.President.. Legal citizenship should be a must to hold any government job, or to vote in any election.
5. Anyone caught not following the rules for legal voting should be barred from voting permenately.
6. ALL elected officials’ raises should be voted on by the voters, Did they earn the raises by doing the will of the people?
7. ALL vacations will be taken at the elected person’s expense.

If you cannot remain honest, you don’t deserve the position .

PaulE
7 years ago

Nice wish list. I sincerely mean it. Unfortunately, none of the politicians in Washington would ever vote for it. Most are also not afraid of being voted out of office, because they know the majority of the voting public is apathetic, gullible and woefully ignorant of how the country is actually being run. Ignorance is indeed bliss to Washington politicians. Especially when it’s the voting public that is ignorant.

Elizabeth Adams
7 years ago

I am very new to Medicare as I had to sign up for it this year. It is a TERRIBLE program. Not only am I finding my medications have increased from $175/month to $284/month, but services are restricted. Whose bright idea was it to leave a hole in drug benefits? Under my old insurance policy I had 20 chiropractic visits per year. Under Medicare, it is 12. Recently I dislocated and broke my shoulder. The orthopedic surgeon told me it would take 2-3 years to regain full mobility. Acupuncture is helping me regain mobility but is not covered under Medicare. My spine was impacted pinching nerves . I am afraid I will run out of 12 covered chiropractic visits and will have to endure pain if I can’t afford to pay for my visits.

When has Government ever done something right when they get involved? ObamaCare has already raided Medicare. Where are they going to get the money for all the people who signed up for Medicaid? I am afraid it will be Medicare. AGAIN. We paid into it all of our working lives. It is a disgraceful program and needs to be reformed. Any changes are going to further reduce our benefits. It is not the Republicans(as worthless as they are) who are initiating these changes but the Democrats. Why were people so blind to what is coming?

Barbara Efraimson
7 years ago

Mr. Kremer, et al: Yes Obama Care is as bad as it seems, from what I can see. Furthermore, doctors are not doing any more than you see now because they are also having terms for their practices dictated to them by the federal government, also. We voted for this person and his cronies. We also have voted for the current Senate and the current Congressional representatives. Many of them don’t believe what’s happening, either, and/or don’t dare to say what they think of it all. (Besides–they’re afraid they’ll lose their much heftier benefits, too.) Our president and those siding with him are being backed by some very evil people, who really have no allegiance to anyone or anything, so in order to keep their power structure they’ll do any thing they have to. Remember all of this both now and when it’s time to vote again–every single time–and remember how the Nazi movement began. Somehow, it’s chillingly familiar.

MARIANNE KING
7 years ago

Thank you for your help in keeping us informed. I am deeply upset with what the administration is doing to the health of seniors. We have been so happy with the Medicare Part D coverage–it has been such a blessing–cost wise, and access wise. I feel sure that Obama will do everything in his power to make this impossible for us–with his attitude of dislike for America —-it was said he would cut off our meds at some point, and I am afraid now this is the start of it. Stay well, and active, Seniors—-take heed–and vote accordingly.

Anthony
7 years ago

Hands off! You’ve caused enough damage and despair already.

Bud Kremer
7 years ago

If Obamacare is as bad as it seems, where are the doctors to give voice to that fact? I always thought doctors liked their independence and their small businesses. If they care about providing the best health care for us, then where are they saying so? Where is the outrage?

Bud Kremer
7 years ago

If Obamacaree is as bad as I believe it is, then where are the doctors? If their inclination is for the best health care of patients, then why do we not hear their outcry? I thought most doctors liked their independence and their own small businesses. Was I wrong? Where is the outrage?

Peggy Surles
7 years ago

We have some very stupid people in our leadership!… I believe a panel of fifth graders with some government knowledge
could do a better job. You just do not want a Community Organizer to lead a country. Thankfully, we have some people
like AMAC with some economic sense. Thanks for all you are doing.

Geo.Dombrowski
7 years ago

As a N.J.resident I agree with PaulE Comment about form letters from Congressmen ..
Leave your Govt.hands off Part D

Diane
7 years ago

I opted out of Part D because I believe that even prescription drugs have danger and I prefer to use alternative healing. When I investigated becoming a part of a Medicare Advantage program I learned that some did not offer an option without the Part D (making this mandatory). The cost of the penalty would buy a lot of vitamins and good food. My new doctor did discover a condition where a drug was prescribed. The drug had many serious side effects and some reports contended it did little good. With my savings on the penalty I can now afford a better treatment using foods and supplements.

Jacqueline Doty
7 years ago

The only good Senior is a dead Senior according to Sebelius and Obama.
Of course they want to deny us necessary medications or make the costs all out-of-pocket. One of our gals at our Senior Center recently died because she could not afford the costs of her leukemia drugs……$4000/month.

amoebapetri
7 years ago

I agree with Jacqueline, the two jerks are trying to kill us all, nice to see you up and around Adolph!

Maureen
7 years ago

I am so afraid that we haven’t seen the half of it yet. I firmly believe Obama knows he’s washed up and will spend his remaining time in office to set in place more outrageous laws for vindictive reasons. He does NOT love America.

sue
7 years ago

ITS TIME TO MARCH AND TAKE BACK OUR COUNTRY’

PaulE
7 years ago

As a resident of New Jersey who doesn’t vote Democrat, I wish you luck in getting Frank Pallone to respond back with anything but a form letter. That’s all you normally get from any of the Congressional Democrat delegation from my state. They acknowledge your concern, tell you that you’re wrong and that they will continue to support President Obama 100 percent and look forward to hearing from you on other matters in the future. In short, they are all rubber stamps for Obama and their Congressional seats are all incredibly safe. So there is near ZERO chance you can influence Representative Pallone to deviate from whatever Obama and the Democrat party wants. New Jersey, like New York and other states in the northeast, are what could be charitably called Democrat strongholds. I would refer to them as something else, but you couldn’t print it.

As to the proposed changes to Medicare Part D, the problem you’re likely to face is that Obamacare granted almost unlimited power to the head of HHS to decide what is and isn’t acceptable practice under almost everything Obamacare touches. As such, your letter should have probably been sent to the only person in Washington who could change this proposed policy, if she actually wanted to. That person would be the HHS head Kathleen Sebelius.

I agree with your position that the proposed changes to Medicare Part D would adversely impact both doctors and seniors and should be stopped. However, you have to keep in mind that the Democrats are trying to mimic the horrendous National Health Service of England. The so-called holy grail of single-payer that Obamacare is supposed to be a bridge to.

If you look at how NHS micro-manages the delivery of all aspects of health care over there, you’ll see that the proposed changes to Medicare Part D would fall right in line with how NHS controls things. It is all about “limiting access to drugs and sharply reducing choice”, that you specify in your letter. That’s how the NHS controls costs. Does it potentially impact patient outcomes? Sure, but their focus is on cost containment first and foremost. Most socialized medicine is structured this way, which is why people should have pushed a lot harder to stop Obamacare from ever being passed.

If that meant over-loading the Congressional phone system every day send a message to the Democrats, that would have been fine. If that meant doing the same thing to every Democrat member’s e-mail, so be it. The same holds true for holding rallies either in Washington or across every town in America, that would have been fine too. The problem is most people simply weren’t paying attention or didn’t realize what Obamacare would ultimately mean for health care in this country. Too many people thought, for whatever reason, that it wouldn’t apply to them or they believed the lies being told by the administration to sell it to the public. Now, as Obamacare is an unfortunate reality and is being implemented, suddenly people are waking up to the fact that what they were used to, from a health care perspective, is being stripped away and being replaced by something they don’t like or want. Unfortunately, it’s too late. Even most Congressional Republicans no longer talk about outright repeal of Obamacare. Instead what you hear more and more of is “trying to fix this piece” or trying to make a few changes”. In short, trying to minimize the damage Obamacare will do over time.

I was talking to someone from England today, who grew up with the NHS, and he couldn’t believe Americans would be so stupid as to think socialized medicine would be better than what we had before Obamacare. One of the reasons he moved to the United States was to escape the NHS. Sure the old system wasn’t perfect and could use some minor changes to address a small percentage of the population with real issues, but you don’t gut the entire health care system that was the envy of the world, his words not mine, to move towards a failure like NHS that most people in England hate. I’ve heard the same kind of responses from people from Canada, France and other nations with variations of socialized medicine as well.

Ivan Berry
7 years ago
Reply to  PaulE

Darrel Hanson ( I think that’s his name) warned us years ago. HHS is just another Czar for the ultimate Czar. Some how or other the answer is to reduce the power of Washington. Any useful ideas other than votings the B’s out every two, four or six years?

PaulE
7 years ago
Reply to  Ivan Berry

Voting is the only way, short if an armed revolution that would never succeed, to effect the positive change we need to save the republic. The process will take decades to gradually undo all the damage that has been heaped upon this country over the last 100 years by the Progressive movement. There is no quick fix.

Ivan Berry
7 years ago
Reply to  PaulE

Got it, and you’re right. It just gets so frustrating. Thanks.

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