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Sat Feb 16, 2013, 07:27 PM

Heard it first on DU? Thom or BIG ED are you listening?


I was reading something today about Medicare and drug costs. Then latter I was reading an op-ed on a legal case not related. Something about getting around a law you can't get changed.

Light bulb. Medicare can't negotiate with drug companies over costs by law. Why not have Medicare buy from the Veteran's Administration THAT CAN negotiate? Let the VA have 5% for saving us all billions of $?

Thoughts?

OS

37 replies, 2953 views

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Arrow 37 replies Author Time Post
Reply Heard it first on DU? Thom or BIG ED are you listening? (Original post)
Omaha Steve Feb 2013 OP
Suich Feb 2013 #1
Scuba Feb 2013 #2
rhett o rick Feb 2013 #14
Scuba Feb 2013 #15
lunatica Feb 2013 #28
Scuba Feb 2013 #30
Sekhmets Daughter Feb 2013 #8
ReRe Feb 2013 #22
Omaha Steve Feb 2013 #9
Scuba Feb 2013 #3
BlueStreak Feb 2013 #13
Omaha Steve Feb 2013 #27
BlueStreak Feb 2013 #29
Omaha Steve Feb 2013 #31
BlueStreak Feb 2013 #32
Omaha Steve Feb 2013 #33
BlueStreak Feb 2013 #34
Omaha Steve Feb 2013 #35
BlueStreak Feb 2013 #36
Omaha Steve Feb 2013 #37
JaneyVee Feb 2013 #4
Vincardog Feb 2013 #5
Angry Dragon Feb 2013 #6
jaysunb Feb 2013 #7
CTyankee Feb 2013 #11
jaysunb Feb 2013 #12
busterbrown Feb 2013 #10
rosesaylavee Feb 2013 #16
Teamster Jeff Feb 2013 #17
Lifelong Protester Feb 2013 #18
mtasselin Feb 2013 #19
littlemissmartypants Feb 2013 #20
rurallib Feb 2013 #21
WillyT Feb 2013 #23
gtar100 Feb 2013 #24
ReRe Feb 2013 #25
patrice Feb 2013 #26

Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 07:29 PM

1. What law says Medicare can't negotiate with drug companies?

Never heard that before...



TIA!

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Response to Suich (Reply #1)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 07:30 PM

2. You gotta thank Dim Sun for that one.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #2)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 08:33 PM

14. Isnt is "Dim Son". nm

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #14)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 08:35 PM

15. Oooops.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #15)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 09:09 AM

28. You can go back and edit it

There is no time limit on editing your posts anymore.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #28)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 09:34 AM

30. My laziness knows no bounds.

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Response to Suich (Reply #1)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 07:38 PM

8. Medicare Part D...

It's buried somewhere in there.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #8)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 09:56 PM

22. I'll never forget....

... up in the middle of the night. Watching it all unfurl on C-Span. It was a 15 minute vote. and when 15 minutes was up, it wasn't. I don't know how long it took, as the Republicans were in the cloak room twisting arms. But when it was all over, the Republicons won. No negotiations on drug prices, like the VA does it. Medicare Part D...

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Response to Suich (Reply #1)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 07:39 PM

9. Allow Medicare to negotiate for cheaper drug prices


http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/obameter/promise/73/allow-medicare-to-negotiate-for-cheaper-drug-price/

Updates:
Action unlikely before end of administration

Updated: Wednesday, April 25th, 2012 | By Martha M. Hamilton

As a candidate, Barack Obama promised to repeal a prohibition on Medicare negotiating directly with drug companies over prices for Medicare recipients. But it's widely viewed as unlikely to before the end of the current Obama administration.

"It's hard to tell you that anything will happen prior to the election this year. It's going to be a difficult year to get any kind of legislation passed," said David Certner, legislative policy director for AARP.

"It has not happened and isn't likely to happen," said Gail Wilensky, who directed the Medicare and Medicaid programs from 1990 to 1992 under President George H.W. Bush.

"The Obama administration only has so much control over that, but I doubt Congress is going to pass it," said Lee Goldberg, vice president of health policy for the non partisan National Academy of Social Insurance.

FULL story at link.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 07:31 PM

3. Brilliant!!! Why aren't you in Congress?

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Response to Scuba (Reply #3)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 08:32 PM

13. No. It is the same issue either way.

It is prohibited by law.

If Medicare could work through VA, they could negotiate the prices on their own.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #13)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 09:01 AM

27. How do we know that?


Link perhaps?

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Response to Omaha Steve (Reply #27)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 09:21 AM

29. Medicare Part D bans the Medicare system from being involved at all.

It says that only the PRIVATE insurance companies that actually implement Part D are able to negotiate. And because each insurer is much smaller than the Medicare system at large, they have much less bargaining power.

The point is that the "government" isn't allowed to be involved at all, not directly, and not indirectly by working with the VA.

Having the Medicare agency negotiate these prices would have two cost-reducing benefits. First, it would lower the prices for the drugs themselves. Secondly it would lower the overhead carried by the Part D insurers.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #29)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 09:45 AM

31. So the VA is already in violation?


Why not float the balloon anyway? I'd love to see the drug companies explain why something is 4-10 times a higher price than the VA pays in a court room.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Reply #31)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 09:57 AM

32. The VA has nothing to do with Medicare Part D

The issue is Medicare Part D.

Under Medicare Part D, the government plays no role in determining drug prices. The PRIVATE insurance companies individually negotiate prices with the Pharma companies. That is how the Medicare Part D law is written.

I don't know how to say it any more clearly.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #32)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 02:05 PM

33. I don't see how buying from VA changes to make Medicare determine a price


Since it is done by the VA.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Reply #33)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 10:36 PM

34. Medicare doesn't buy the drugs.

The drugs are purchased by the PRIVATE INSURANCE COMPANIES that participate in Part D. Medicare is prohibited from being involved in that. The law has to change.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #34)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 10:54 PM

35. Wouldn't it be the VA buying the drugs?


OK. Changing this to a change the law topic. But the D's will have to be in control of the house.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Reply #35)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:07 AM

36. Are we talking about medicare Part D? The VA has nothing to do with that

Do you understand there is a big, lengthy law that defines exactly how Medicare Part D works?

I agree with you that Americans would be better served if Medicare could negotiate fair prices for drugs, but the law says they cannot. The law says that each Part D supplier negotiates its own prices. None of that has anything to do with the VA.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #36)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:18 AM

37. Let the VA buy the drugs for those not covered by part D


OR let the VA do part D coverage at a profit of say 5-10%. It would still come in way under what other companies negotiate for a price. And helps the VA's bottom line.





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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 07:32 PM

4. Genius. And it should even lower costs more for VA and everyone since they'll be buying tons more.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 07:32 PM

5. Good answer. That should be the next Executive order.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 07:34 PM

6. Very Good One Steve!!

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 07:35 PM

7. Actually, Obama has alluded to this a couple of times

both in the inauguration speech and the State of the Union, when he talked about cutting medicare costs....of course, as usual, it kinda gets skipped over.

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Response to jaysunb (Reply #7)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 08:06 PM

11. I wonder if he could do this by executive order...

I know it's prolly a pipe dream, but...

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #11)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 08:17 PM

12. No, I don't think he can...and I could be wrong about that, but

while the Republicans are busy obstructing, it'll probably come like a sucker punch in future fiscal negotiations. The President has the high ground right now and common sense issues like this will have a good chance of being enacted.

It's a shame that the President has to play this game every time just to get the Republicans to simply, "do the right thing" by the country.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 07:58 PM

10. I remember the republican response when democrats asked, why canít we negotiate prices?

Because you just trust the govt. to do anything correctly... ( Bill Frist or whatever the fuck his name was).

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 08:39 PM

16. K&R

Good idea OS!

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 08:41 PM

17. That's a good idea

An idea that 10 or 20 million dollars of pharmaceutical company money would bury under a ton of bullshit.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 08:59 PM

18. Brilliant! and the non-negotiating bit came from

another Republican dope from WI-Tommy Thompson, while he was Secretary of Health (is it "and Human Resources"?) under W.
Thank goodness Tammy Baldwin whipped his tired old wrinkly alcoholic womanizing butt and claimed the Senate seat. WI already has one idiot Repub (Senator Sunspot Johnson), I'd have to really consider moving if we had two....

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 09:12 PM

19. GREAT!

That would be great if it could and would happen, but I am sure that the pharmaceutical companies have already thought about that. Let's give it a try and who knows maybe just maybe the American people can win one.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 09:43 PM

21. effing brilliant Steve

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 09:56 PM

23. K & R !!!




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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 10:03 PM

24. Congress will get right on that.

And make it illegal to buy from the VA.

I'd like to put a sarcasm tag here but I wouldn't put it past them to do something like that.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 10:05 PM

25. Omaha Steve

K&R

You either belong in the WH, Congress, or on MSNBC.. Sounds easy enough to me. Let's do it!

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 10:27 PM

26. Suggesting an actual solutiion!?! How revolutionary of you!!

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