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Maine experts on Build Back Better’s Prescription Cost plan

Published: Dec. 3, 2021 at 11:08 AM EST
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - The Build Back Better Act passed the House last week, and the Senate could review it just after Thanksgiving. One part of the Act—an attempt to change prescription drug costs. Rhian Lowndes breaks down what the act hopes to achieve

The Prescription Drug Pricing Plan in President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better framework aims to lower drug costs for Medicare Part D participants over a few years. Kimberly James at the Aroostook Agency on Aging says Aroostook County will be impacted

“Approximately there are 20,000 in aroostook county that are eligible for medicare. a lot of people are on fixed incomes and they have to make that decision whether to pay for their drugs or their heating costs or their food”

The key part of the Prescription Drug Pricing Plan is allowing medicare to negotiate drug costs, says Japhet Els, assistant director of AARP Maine.

this is something the VA does already which is why many veterans get drugs to slightly better price point than those on Medicare

By 2023, Biden plans to Impose a tax penalty if drug companies increase their prices faster than inflation. By 2024, Part D participants should see a $2,000 a year cap on out-of-pocket costs. Medicare, which is funded by taxes, will catch the spillover costs—ASSUMING, says Els, that they are able to SAVE money by negotiating drug costs with pharmaceutical companies. Those negotiations are charted to begin in 2025.

And I always remind people even if youre not on medicare this ais an issue you should care about because your tax dollars are funding the medicare program

The Pharmaceutical Industry warns that this plan could result in less research and development of new drugs and cures. The United States was the largest pharmaceutical market in the world in 2020, and the Maine Health Data Organization says the cost of prescriptions increased by 11.1% between 2019 and 2020. James says the Aroostook Agency on Aging is available to help you find benefits available to save on prescription costs. Rhian lowndes newssource 8

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