Medicare Part D costs
I seldom agree with Democratic talking points. However, there was a Democratic congressman on FNC a few hours ago (I forget his name) who made an excellent point, in my opinion. He noted than an enormous amount of money could be saved--in fact, he estimated 300 billion dollars over a ten-year period--if only Medicare Part D (i.e. prescription-drug coverage) were allowed to bargain with the pharmaceutical companies, just as the VA does.
Our own prescription-drug costs are very low (the co-pay for one of my medications is just $3.28 for a 90-day supply; and another is just $2.38) precisely because of the VA's ability to negotiate costs with the pharmaceutical companies--including the manufacturers of generic drugs.
I have long considered it little more than a sop to the pharmaceutical companies that Medicare Part D is disallowed, by law, from engaging in such negotiations.
Note: Any such change would not vitiate the need for some structural reforms in Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. But it could surely serve as a starting point. And a painless one, at that--except, of course, for the drug manufacturers.