Tuesday, November 14, 2006

New York Times editors read this blog!

I don't normally agree with the New York Times editorial page, but it looks like they agree with me.

On Monday morning, I posted CMS as a PDP: A Part D compromise? suggesting a compromise on Part D that could avoid a Presidential veto:

"Medicare beneficiaries will have the option, but not the obligation, to enroll in a national plan based on directly negotiated prices. The current system of regional PDPs will remain, in effect putting the government into competition with private plans."

On Tuesday morning, The New York Times ran an editorial called Lowering Medicare Drug Prices, which states:

"The approach that most appeals to us would direct the secretary of health and human services to set up one or more government-operated drug plans to compete with the private plans. "

Interesting coincidence, don't you think?


  1. This option was also mentioned on the KFF web presentation on Tuesday.

    Ask the Experts: Open Enrollment for Medicare Part D 11/14/2006
    Kaiser Family Foundation Broadcast Studio, Washington, D.C

    See http://tinyurl.com/y75suy

    (link was aliased to fit in this window)

  2. I guess Kaiser reads this blog, too!

    But seriously, I recognize that others may have had similar ideas. I was just surprised to read the NYT because I had not seen the idea in print before I wrote up the blog entry.

  3. The Feds already have a program in place to deliver prescription drugs at a very low negotiated price (in most cases their cost is well below what any medicaid program is paying) to members--it's run through the Veterans Administration and is currently only available to current and past members of the armed services and their families. An expeditious move for the Feds would be to open this program to Medicare Part D "customers".

    Now, the formulary is pretty restrictive and most of the service is delivered by mail, but if you live near a military base and you don't mind the limited hours of availability and your physician is cooperative about using the drugs on the VA formulary, it may be the program for you, AND the Fed gov't wouldn't have to reinvent the wheel to start a brand new program to compete with the private sector--just use the one that's already there.

    Like that'll happen.

    Tom Connelly, RPh