Government Propaganda Or Real Medicare Part D Savings?

Does the source of a press release give it more validity?Trust me

Press releases have been used in one form or another ever since things or ideas needed to be sold.

It’s common to see press releases for new products like new software or a new Justin Bieber album.

But when did it become necessary for the federal government to issue press releases about how good things are?

I’m referring to a March 21 2013 press release from CMS entitled,

“Seniors Saved Over 6 Billion on Prescription Drugs as a Result of the Health Care Law”.

The press release states in part…

As the third anniversary of the Affordable Care Act approaches, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today more than 6.3 million people with Medicare saved over $6.1 billion on prescription drugs because of the health care law.

It goes on…

“By making prescription drugs more affordable, the Affordable Care Act is improving and promoting the best care for people with Medicare,” Secretary Sebelius said.

First, if you are the one crafting this press release why would you be so arrogant to refer to parts of the Affordable Care Act a.k.a. Obama Care an “The Health Care Law“? When was it that we reduced decades of healthcare legislation down to the one ominous law?

I digress.

6 Strategies That Can save You Money on Part D

How much money have you saved?

The press release states that after three years of the Affordable Care Act (particularly those aspects concerning Part D) 6.3 million seniors have saved $6.1 billion on prescription drugs.( Have disabled Medicare beneficiaries under 65 not saved?)

This is attributed to the one time check in the amount of $250 given to people who hit the coverage gap in 2010 as well as the gradual closing of the donut hole during the last 3 years.

There are approximately 48 million people on Medicare. So according to the above figures about 13% of beneficiaries saved about $968 per year for the past 3 years.

The touted benefit of closing the donut hole is really only effecting about 13% of the Medicare population.

In the mean time…

  • The Part D deductible has been raised from $250 in 2006 to $325 in 2013
  • Copayment and coinsurance amounts have increased for many drugs
  • Part D premiums are pegged to your income





Now, I’m not bitching about some people saving some money. That’s not the point.

The point I’m making is more about the relevancy and honesty of the message.

There are some real problems on the horizon with Medicare and Medicare programs like Part D. You cannot add approximately 10,000 Baby Boomers a day to Medicare and not eventually have some funding issues.

Rather than sell a rosy picture to the public, those entrusted to administer Medicare need to have an honest conversation about what people nearing Medicare and those on Medicare will face in the next decade.

I’d like to know what you think. Is there a Medicare crisis coming or am I screaming wolf?

Read the full Press release

8 comments

  1. Wolf! Your critique of the press release sounds like an analysis by a high school debater grasping for anything to make it sound bad. Essentially this amounts to name calling and lowers YOUR credibility–to about the same level as the average Washington legislator! That’s low.

  2. I am an American due to family-connections. I have lived in Germany,England,Canada, and having experienced all those healthcare environments,,, I have to state that USA has the LOUSIEST SET-UP…and for that reason alone I wish I could live in any of the other countries…
    When last in Germany I had to pay health-premium as does any visitor staying longer than 3 months… Everyone there is required to be insured, which lowers the premiums – as the pot is bigger, securing treatment for all……
    How long is it going to take for some Idiots in Washington to understand that simple math… Obama understands this !!!

  3. I have AlS. medicare part D means no savings for me. In fact my medication prices are going up.

  4. I’m with you David. The press releases are quite misleading. Obama Care has not helped my wife and me. Our Medicare Advantage plans’ premiums have gone up, drug deductibles have gone from $0 to $95, some drug tiers have gone higher, copays and coinsurances have risen significantly, zero copay for generics has disappeared, new quantity limits have been introduced, and some important maintenance drugs have been dropped from formularies thereby requiring applying for annual exemptions. We have ongoing battles with the insurance companies and pharmacies about accepting the negotiated drug and quantity limit exemptions. It is costing us more grief, time and money, not less. It has placed an increased burden on our service providers (doctors, pharmacists, etc.). Further, there are no 5-star MA plans available in our area. I’m afraid this is just the beginning – – the crises is building and not being acknowledged.

  5. My Social Security increase was gone when I picked up my first prescription for Asthma in January of 2013; my medicine was higher than the increase because my insurance put it in a higher bracket. I was very disappointed. I do not understand what is happening in these United States; more ways than just SS.

  6. Since Obuma care came about my generic prescription in donut whole has gone from no cost to 87% of the negociated price. Health premiums have gone up as well as my prescription cost have gone from $10 to $20 dollars generic and $20 to $25 dollars for brand. Two of my prescription have been raised from tier 1 to tier 2 which are much more expensive. People will not like Obuma care when they start taking the priemums from their checks.

  7. D H, He may understand the risk pool concept, but I’m not sure he has a funding solution. Maybe he will fund Medicare with a Cyprus-like haircut to people with money in the bank. Say… there’s a Country for you!

  8. Ed, Says you poopy head!!

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