Some Democrats are backing a “tax” on prescription drugs that would increase Medicare drug plan premiums by as much as 40 percent. Those lawmaker wouldn’t describe their plan that way, of course, but that would be the effect of their plat to require drug companies to pay Medicaid-style rebates to Medicare.
Medicaid is the rope in the current tug of war between the states and the federal government over health reform. So far, the feds think they are winning. But don’t discount the governors.
Massachusett’s health reform has increased demand without increasing the supply of health care providers, it continues to keep people in the dark about the true cost of health care and health insurance, and has not changed incentives for people to seek more affordable options or for a truly competitive marketplace. Washington’s health overhaul law has the same structural flaws.
Consumer-directed health plans have been useful in controlling the rise of health costs over the last several years, but the survival of these plans is threatened by the new health overhaul law.
The government shoudn’t be the arbiter that makes final decisions on the value of one treatment over another, but can play an important role in collecting and disseminating information about the most effective treatments.