Preserve Medicare Drug Plan from Spending Cuts; Health Care; Millions Depend on Part D Program, Including the Aging and Disabled

By Jade D James; Nathaniel Murdock | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), September 14, 2012 | Go to article overview

Preserve Medicare Drug Plan from Spending Cuts; Health Care; Millions Depend on Part D Program, Including the Aging and Disabled


Jade D James; Nathaniel Murdock, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


The 2012 election is fast approaching. Now that the Supreme Court has upheld the Affordable Care Act, questions remain around the topic of health care. Despite the passage and constitutional upholding of this sweeping health care legislation, those most vulnerable - particularly our seniors, low-income families and people with disabilities - continue to be threatened by the very real possibility of funding cuts to Medicare Part D.

Medicare Part D, also known as a Prescription Drug Plan, was created in 2003 to help cover the costs of prescription drugs for patients and seniors. It is a model government program costing less than projected and exceeding expectations. It is a cost-efficient program upon which the aging, disabled and underserved depend. However, its future remains in peril. The program remains a target for government spending cuts that will have devastating consequences for millions of Americans.

More than 40 million people on Medicare - 90 percent of all beneficiaries - currently have comprehensive prescription drug coverage, thanks to Medicare Part D. The Journal of the American Medical Association found that improved access and adherence to medicines through Part D saves Medicare about $1,200 per year in hospital, nursing home and other costs for each senior who previously lacked comprehensive drug coverage. …

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