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Reply #20: Could we save another 220 billion in addition to the 80 billion using VA prices... [View All]

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Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009) Donate to DU
slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 12:24 PM
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20. Could we save another 220 billion in addition to the 80 billion using VA prices...

"...Candidate Obama, citing a paper by Roger Hickey, Jeff Cruz, and Dean Baker of the Institute for America's Future, put the savings at $30 billion a year, which over a decade would be roughly twice the $156 billion savings envisioned by the energy and commerce committee. (Hickey, Cruz, and Baker proposed matching not Medicaid drug prices but those negotiated by the more straightforwardly socialist Veterans Administration.) By this reckoning, Tauzin swindled not $76 billion from President Obama but $220 billion. That's nearly half what the House health reform bill expects to raise with its proposed surtax on incomes above $350,000! ..."

9 page pdf

"...Allow Medicare to negotiate for cheaper drug prices. The 2003 Medicare Prescription Drug
Improvement and Modernization Act bans the government from negotiating down the prices of
prescription drugs, even though the Department of Veterans Affairs negotiation of prescription drug
prices with drug companies has garnered significant savings for taxpayers.32 Barack Obama and Joe
Biden will repeal the ban on direct negotiation with drug companies and use the resulting savings, which
could be as high as $30 billion,33 to further invest in improving health care coverage and quality..."

Here is the plan cited above, 7 page pdf

"...Legislation to allow negotiation overwhelmingly passed the House in January and will
soon be debated in the Senate. Groups like the AARP, Families USA, the Alliance for
Retired Americans, the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare,
US Action and Campaign for Americas Future have mobilized to help pass this
legislation. However, the pharmaceutical industry with its annual lobbying budget of
over $100 million is also mobilizing to protect its excess profits by opposing any
changes to Part D.

In addition to the tremendous savings offered by allowing Medicare to negotiate for
lower prices, there is also an opportunity to save more than $5 billion a year nationally in
administrative costs by allowing seniors to get their benefits directly from Medicare.
Both of these ideas are very popular with the American people, being favored by 85%
and 76% of American adults, respectively. If both enacted, this could save American
seniors and taxpayers more than $35 billion annually..."

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