Now it would be a surprise if the GOP/Republicans did NOT side with “big-pharma”…???

…Now it would be a surprise if the GOP/Republicans did NOT side with “big-pharma”…???

Republicans side with big pharma over seniors, Medicare


Joan McCarter Daily Kos Staff2018/07/24 · 10:30

This story is absolutely insane, demonstrating just how bought-off the entire Republican Party is. The Congressional Budget Office made a mistake. It estimated that the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 would save Medicare $7.7 billion over the next decade in a change it made to a Medicare Part D drug discount program. That was a $4 billion error, in Medicare’s favor, and also in favor of Medicare beneficiaries facing high prescription costs. So the changes will save Medicare—meaning the taxpayers—$11.8 billion in the next two years.

It means drug companies have to offer deeper discounts to enrollees who fall in the so-called “donut hole,” or the gap created when an enrollee’s prescription costs exceed the coverage limits in their Part D plan. Drug companies have to offer those enrollees a 70 percent discount on drugs, up from 50 percent before the budget bill passed. So drug companies pay more, Medicare enrollees pay less, and it is saving taxpayers money.

The unbelievable, and yet totally predictable, part of this is that Republicans are coming down on the side of big pharma! Not just congressional Republicans, but "Republican think tanks, advocacy organizations and consulting firms." They’ve actually launched what is being called a "grassroots" effort to void the deeper discount in the law. Because sure, grassroots Republican seniors are going to be really up in arms over saving money on their prescription drugs. Of course it’s PhRMA that’s behind this.

They claim, as Daniel Seaton, a spokesman for Biotechnology Innovation Organization says, that it is "Forcing companies to divert billions of dollars from the research lab to bail out insurance companies," and that it "will stifle innovation while doing little to save costs for Medicare beneficiaries." This from the industry that is raking in the tax cuts that Congress passed last year.

Just five big pharmaceuticals are going to save a combined $6 billion in 2018 alone. Another 10 are going to save $76 billion total in taxes on offshore revenue. But they’re fighting $4 billion they’ll lose over the next 10 years when they’ll more than reap that back every single year.

Here’s some free advice for them: spend some of that tax windfall on research and development instead of executive salaries and gifts to shareholders—and leave the discounts for Medicare patients alone.

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