The National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) urges Members of Congress to oppose any amendment to repeal the non-interference provision of the Medicare Part D law. Senior citizens and people with disabilities have access to important, needed medications thanks to Medicare Part D. Part D provides this access and affordability for Medicare participants thanks to its competitive, market-based pricing structure that allow Part D plans, drug manufacturers, and pharmacies to negotiate prices and discounts for those who rely on Medicare coverage for the prescriptions they need.
This market-based pricing structure has allowed Medicare Part D to provide access to these medications at significant savings to taxpayers. As a result, Medicare Part D makes up only 11.8% of Medicare’s total budget. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated that Part D costs are already 45% lower than projected, with premiums remaining stable year-over-year and lower than original projections. And, the Part D pricing structure has allowed for larger-than-average rebates and discounts from manufacturers than seen in commercial health plans. This is good news for the federal budget, for taxpayers, and for Medicare beneficiaries who depend on this program to keep them healthy and alive.
Medicare Part D works. This competitive pricing structure works, in large part, due to what is known as the “non-interference clause.” This clause prohibits the federal government from interfering in price negotiations, or creating a specific formulary for the program. The CBO has reported, and the market bears, that the HHS Secretary would not be able to negotiate lower prices or greater discounts than the plans are already able to do. The CBO also believes the only way an HHS Secretary could reduce costs is to limit access to medications, which is dangerous and an enormous risk to the patients who benefit from Medicare Part D.
We must do everything in our power to protect and enforce the current pricing structure of Medicare Part D. We call on Congress to allow the program to continue to build on its success in protecting and supporting the health of those who need this program and oppose any amendment to repeal the non-interference clause.