Dear Representative Castor:
On behalf of the Medicare Rights Center (Medicare Rights), I am writing to endorse the Medicare Drug Savings Act. Through our national helpline and educational programming, Medicare Rights serves over 1.5 million beneficiaries, family caregivers, and professionals annually. We are long-time supporters of this legislation, which would restore prescription drug rebates available to Medicare for low-income beneficiaries prior to the creation of the Part D benefit.
Rather than cutting Medicare benefits, we believe that securing lower drug prices must be a part of any legislative effort to achieve Medicare savings. The Medicare Drug Savings Act represents a responsible approach to securing over $120 billion in savings. This bill preserves beneficiary access to needed medications and shifts no additional costs to seniors and people with disabilities.
Most people with Medicare simply cannot afford to pay more for health care. Half of all Medicare beneficiaries—over 25 million older adults and people with disabilities—live on annual incomes of $23,500 or less. Further, the average Medicare household spends 14 percent of their total income on health care costs, compared to 5 percent among nonMedicare households. Despite the facts, many Medicare savings proposals would force people with Medicare to pay more through the imposition of higher premiums or cost sharing.
The Medicare Drug Savings Act adopts a principled approach to controlling Medicare spending that protects beneficiaries unable to afford even higher health care costs. Thank you for championing this important legislation and for your commitment to enhancing the health and well-being of people with Medicare. Sincerely, Joe Baker President Medicare Rights Center
Medicare Rights Center
Any changes to the Medicare program must aim for healthier people, better care, and smarter spending—not paying more for less. As policymakers debate the future of health care, we will provide our insights here.
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