WASHINGTON, March 19, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- RetireSafe, representing 400,000 senior supporters across America, today joined more than 330 organizations in a letter urging Washington to reject changes to the popular Medicare prescription drug plan. In the common sense language of RetireSafe's supporters, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."
"Nearly 40 million seniors rely on Part D for access to prescription drugs. Ninety percent of beneficiaries are pleased with the way the program works and it saves them and the federal government money," said RetireSafe President Thair Phillips. "As lawmakers in Washington are finalizing their budgets, they should look to areas of government that aren't working well - not one of the most properly-functioning, cost-effective and popular programs on which seniors rely."
With federal budget proposals in focus this week, RetireSafe and more than 330 organizations representing a number of constituencies sent a letter to Senators and Representatives urging that the popular and highly-effective Medicare Part D prescription drug plan be left intact. The organizations signing the letter include patient groups, seniors groups, healthcare providers and manufacturers.
Since going into effect in 2006, Medicare Part has garnered high approval rates, most recently 90 percent in a survey conducted by Medicare Today. The average premium for seniors is $30 - half of initial projections. By all accounts, access to prescription drugs improves patients' health and lessens the number and duration of hospital stays, greatly reducing overall Medicare spending. In the last 10 years, Medicare spending has cost $346 billion less than initially projected – a 45 percent savings. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office recently changed its scoring methodology to take into account the broader cost savings opportunity provided through Part D.
"Policy changes such as allowing HHS to negotiate drug prices pose a significant risk to seniors," said Phillips. "The fact of the matter is that the current system, which includes negotiations among Part D plans, leads to lower costs and greater access to the drugs seniors rely upon every day. Any change to that system would be damaging to the health and bank accounts of seniors at a time when they can least afford it."
For a copy of the letter, visit www.retiresafe.org.
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