Letter to the Editor

Medicare overpays for Rx drugs

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

President Trump was elected in part on a promise to "drain the swamp" and change the way things had been done in Washington. One of the targets he hit hard in his campaign was the ridiculous profits drug companies were making and promised to work to change that. His "program" was recently released, and it is a joke.

While he talks about negotiating and working to reduce costs, he has left seniors and anyone on Medicare out in the cold. Medicare is the single largest consumer of medicines and assistive devices (wheelchairs, canes, etc.) Yet by law, for the benefit of drug companies, Medicare may not negotiate with the force of that buying power. Instead, Medicare has to pay an average of the market cost. Why? Because the drug companies have better lobbies, and our representatives don't care. There have been studies done that if those restrictions were removed and Medicare could dicker for costs like any company, it would save the government $16 billion dollars a year. There would be a reduction for seniors on copays and deductibles with the lower prices as well.

So, the prices of drugs for those on Medicare would go down, if we let the market operate, and the government would have $16 billion in savings. Win-win, right?

We know from his plan that President Trump is keeping the swamp, because he is not proposing this. I challenge Rep. Smith, and our senators to push the President to change this.

Michael Maguire, Cape Girardeau