Administration Points to Medicare Savings


Administration Points to Medicare Savings

Friday, February 3rd, 2012 - 12:20
Friday, February 3, 2012 - 10:58
The Obama administration is feverishly rolling out good news coming out of the 2010 law.

Based on reporting from The Hill the White House reported yesterday that 3.6 million Medicare recipients saved a total of $2.1 billion on their prescription drugs in 2011. The savings are a result of the Affordable Care Act's provisions that created a 50 percent discount for brand-name drugs once Medicare beneficiaries exceeded the coverage limit of the “doughnut hole,” embedded in Medicare Part D. An additional 7 percent discount also applied to generic drugs in 2011.

By 2020, the health reform law is expected to fully close the doughnut hole, saving seniors an average of $4,200 through 2021 according to the Department of Health and Human Services. The Administration did not address concerns that lower pharmaceutical revenues would result in higher drug costs for other segments of the population.

Earlier in the week, the White House announced that Medicare Advantage enrollment, the private insurance option known as Part C, had increased by 10 percent, yet premiums fell by 7 percent. The Administration touted this good news as evidence that the law was working as intended to provide more flexibility for consumers, finding public-private partnerships, while lowering costs.