By Linda L Barton
As we get older, we all seem to need more medications. From meds for high blood pressure, blood thinners, to diabetic meds, and of course medicines for other more severe ailments such as cancer, prescriptions can cause a financial burden on the average American.
For years, politicians have given lip-service to solving this problem, but no matter what grand new plan they offered it never seemed to ease the struggle for those who need certain meds to survive. However, in the recent State of the Union Address, President Trump said he has a plan that will help Americans save money on their much-needed prescriptions. This is a welcome announcement for senior citizens who struggle each month to buy the meds that keep them alive while living on a fixed income.
Luckily President Donald Trump has a plan to provide some relief. The White House has a new plan to decrease the cost of prescriptions many seniors are taking, AND they are looking to hold federal agencies accountable. Wow, that is amazing!
New Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar stated the administration seeks to answer two primary questions:
- How can we try to start flipping some of those incentives in the system geared towards higher prices?
- How do we find pockets of our programs where we maybe don’t negotiate enough or have people negotiating on our behalf to get as good of a deal?
To answer those questions, Azar and other Trump officials are looking at the Food and Drug Administration, which handles drug identifications and classifications, as well as Medicaid/Medicare, which many seniors are relying on for medical care and prescriptions. A report in The Daily Caller News Foundation clearly lays out the plan on how to lower drug prices.
According to a report by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Inspector General, in 2016 drug misclassifications cost Medicaid over $1 billion of taxpayer money between the years of 2012 and 2016. The FDA, which decides what constitutes a brand-name vs. generic drug, could be incorrectly classifying up to 3% of drugs per year and that classification is what determines how much Medicaid will pay and how much the senior buyer is stuck paying. Azar announced the Trump administration wants an out-of-pocket price cap that limits the amount seniors are forced to pay for their medications. The policy seeks to save seniors money and should get bi-partisan support in Congress.
So, as you can see President Trump is keeping yet another promise. As someone who must take medication for a health issue, I’ll be glad to get a break each month. I’d like to hear your thoughts on all that President Trump has done to make our lives better in the comments section below.