Las Vegas Sun

July 3, 2015

Currently: 96° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

Sun editorial:

Lowering Medicare costs

Bill would allow seniors, government to save money under prescription drug program

Rep. Dave Camp of Michigan, ranking Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, is the latest in a long line of congressmen from his party to make bogus arguments against proposed health care reform.

Last week Camp received a four-page letter from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office detailing its preliminary analysis of the proposed America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009, a House bill backed by Democrats that would make major changes to the prescription drug benefit under Part D of Medicare. One of the biggest changes would be the elimination of costly “doughnut hole” gaps in Medicare drug plans.

The CBO concluded that the legislation would, on average, reduce Medicare beneficiaries’ overall prescription drug spending. The CBO also estimated that the bill would save the federal government $30 billion over the next 10 years under the Part D program for seniors.

Camp, in full misinformation mode, responded with a statement quoting the CBO as saying the bill would increase premiums for Part D recipients. What he failed to acknowledge was the next sentence of the CBO letter stating that overall prescription drug spending would decline, even with the increase in premiums.

The CBO went on to explain that the overall decrease in drug spending would result from seniors receiving “greater protection against incurring high drug costs.”

Unlike Camp, Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., obviously took the time to digest the complete findings. Miller, chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, said: “This CBO score confirms that our reforms will make prescription drug costs more affordable for seniors — and that drug companies can no longer reap enormous profits at their expense.”

Camp said he is interested in saving seniors money, but he has a funny way of showing it. He ignores the CBO’s objective analysis that the bill not only would help seniors, but also would save the government billions of dollars.

Who in their right mind would be opposed to that?

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

No trusted comments have been posted.