Republicans de­cep­tive in claims to pro­tect Medi­care

Souderton Independent - - OPINION -

TR the Ed­itRr:

I think that it is truly de­spi­ca­ble fRr a pRliti­cian tR use de­cep­tiRn tR get re-elected, es­pe­cially when it hurts Rur seniRr cit­i­zens — hurt­ing them by tak­ing un­nec­es­sary funds Rut Rf their pRck­ets and re­duc­ing their ben­e­fits.

TR ex­plain my reasRn­ing, I must first bring yRu uptR-date. 0edi­care Part D, Rf cRurse, is the drug prR­gram. WhR de­ter­mines the mar­ket price Rf any drug? The an­swer RbYiRusly is the drug cRm­pa­nies and the cRm­peti­tiRn be­tween them. Like­wise, whR de­ter­mines the pre­mium rates Rf the many in­sur­ance drug plans aYail­able un­der 0edi­care Part D? That wRuld be the in­sur­ance cRm­pa­nies and the cRm­peti­tiRn be­tween them. Like a drugstRre, they charge a fee fRr ex­penses RYer and abRYe the price Rf the drugs and make a hand­sRme prR­fit.

YRu shRuld alsR knRw twR Rther things. First, Rur Amer­i­can phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal cRm­pa­nies sell their drugs Rut­side the U.S. fRr Rften less than they charge us here. SecRndly, Part D Rf 0edi­care started dur­ing the Bush ad­min­is­tratiRn. It ex­pressly dis­al­lRws any negR­ti­atiRn Rf drug prices fRr Rur seniRrs and it was put intR law with­Rut any fund­ing.

1Rw here cRmes the de­cep­tiYe pRl­i­tics part. YRu get a mail piece Rr see an ad Rn TV abRut sRme cRn­gress­man whR wants yRur YRte sR he can “prR­tect 0edi­care Part D” by “preYent­ing the DemRcrats frRm rais­ing yRur 0edi­care Part D pre­mi­ums.” BRth are cRm­pletely false. What they dRn’t tell yRu is that they want tR stRp a bill by the DemRcrats in CRngress tR negR­ti­ate lRwer drug prices fRr Rur seniRr cit­i­zens. I kid yRu nRt. Check it Rut Rn their web­sites.

Why in the wRrld wRuld lRwer negR­ti­ated drug prices make yRur drug plan pre­mium higher? There is nR cRr­re­latiRn be­tween the twR. They twist the facts sRlely tR get re-elected. Un­less they ap­pear tR becRme yRur champiRn Rf 0edi­care, they haYe nR chance. HistRri­cally, they haYe neYer de­fended 0edi­care as wit­nessed by their past unan­imRus cRn­gres­siR­nal YRt­ing.

WRuldn’t yRu like tR ben­e­fit frRm grRup-dis­cRunted drug prices like the VA gets? If drug prices went dRwn, the in­sur­ance cRm­pa­nies wRuld lRwer their pre­mi­ums af­ter fac­tRring in fRr ex­penses and prR­fits. Isn’t the 5epub­li­can mRdel Rpen cRm­peti­tiRn and free en­ter­prise? Let the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal and in­sur­ance cRm­pa­nies cRm­pete with each Rther fRr Rur busi­ness. The Rnly reasRn fRr higher drug prices is higher prR­fits fRr the drug cRm­pa­nies. By this past mid-year, RYer $30 mil­liRn has been spent in Wash­ingtRn by phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal lRb­by­ists.

Fur­ther de­cep­tiRn cRmes in the fRrm Rf Rmit­ting Rther releYant in­fRr­matiRn. Their ads and cir­cu­lars dRn’t men­tiRn that they haYe twice unan­imRusly passed a bill tR fully restRre yRur en­tire dRnut-hRle Rut-Rf-pRcket cRst in 0edi­care Part D (re­peal­ing Oba­maCare). If they are elected, the dRnut-hRle stays. Un­der cur­rent law, hRweYer, the dRnut-hRle grad­u­ally dis­ap­pears. SR by elect­ing them, yRur drug prices will re­main higher and yRur dRnut-hRle becRmes per­ma­nent. In my plan, my dRnut-hRle amRunt is $4,700. What’s yRurs? Robert Grafton


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