On February 27, AMAC delivered a letter of concern to the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding newly proposed regulations to the Medicare Part D prescription drug program. AMAC is in favor of keeping Part D in its current, market-based form and opposes CMS’ attempt to fundamentally restructure the program, which has proven to be highly successful and popular among beneficiaries. In fact, over 90% of beneficiaries have noted their satisfaction with their Part D plans. Based on a recent CMS representative’s testimony before Congress, AMAC believes that CMS’ interference with this program will limit access to drugs and sharply reduce choice. As an ardent proponent of free markets, AMAC understands that competition and choice are critical components to ensuring the Part D program is able to keep premiums low and consumers satisfied. AMAC will continue to monitor any new developments regarding the proposed regulations to the Part D program and advocate on behalf of greater choice and access to the health coverage mature Americans and seniors need.
February 27th, 2014
The Honorable Marilyn Tavenner
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
7500 Security Boulevard
Baltimore, Maryland 21244
Dear Administrator Tavenner,
On behalf of the 1.1 million members of AMAC, the Association of Mature American Citizens, I am writing to express our deep concern regarding newly proposed regulations for the Medicare Part D prescription drug program and how they may negatively impact the health coverage of mature Americans and seniors.
AMAC is in favor of keeping Medicare Part D as it was originally designed by Congress to be – a market-based, public-private partnership between drug manufacturers and health plan sponsors. Medicare Part D has proven to bend cost curves downward, and has not only provided beneficiaries with more choice, but has cost less than initially projected. In fact, the majority of medication costs have already come out of the Part D program largely due to the generic status of the many maintenance drugs that are commonly prescribed, providing many choices for both physicians and patients. If anything, interference by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in the Part D program – particularly with protected class medications – could limit access to drugs and sharply reduce choice.
According to CMS’ Jonathan Blum, who recently testified before the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, CMS intends to “simplify” Part D by reducing the number of plans available to seniors. As a proponent of free markets, AMAC strongly believes that limiting choice will not only undermine the value of the program, but it will impede consumers’ ability to select coverage that best addresses their individual health needs. Both competition and choice are crucial components to ensuring a market-based program – like Part D – is able to keep premiums low and consumers satisfied.
In addition, AMAC opposes attempts by the Administration to exert more control over programs like Medicare Part D that already work efficiently and effectively and enjoy significant popularity among older Americans.
As the fastest-growing seniors’ advocacy organization in the country, AMAC remains committed to ensuring that mature Americans are able to maintain access to the cost-effective Medicare Part D benefits they prefer. Thank you for your concern and attention to this critical matter.
President and Founder of AMAC