Published August 18th, 2015 by Stephanie
Medicare, the government health program which specifically covers senior citizens, is in a somewhat unique position. The other major federal health programs, Medicaid and the Department of Veterans Affairs, have the right to negotiate better prices on behalf of the citizens they cover, but Medicare must seek congressional approval to ask for any discounts beyond whatever the manufacturers feel like handing out. Considering how slowly congress moves on a good day, this sort of situation doesn’t come up often.
Understandably, this has led to a situation where Medicare (and therefore the American people) has to pay 70 percent more on prescription medicine than its fellow federal programs do. Even most other countries with similar programs can get their medication for half of what Medicare pays.
One reason why this is such a significant problem is because bargain-hunting is an ingrained aspect of the American healthcare system. Drug companies and hospitals don’t really expect people to pay the full list price for any of their goods or services, because they expect insurance companies and other such programs to bargain them down to a much more reasonable number.
As such, list prices are often inflated beyond reason simply to provide the insurance providers with the good feeling that comes with getting a steep discount, a feeling they can then pass on to their policy holders. However, this leaves the uninsured out in the cold, as they have to pay the full listed price, and without the ability to bargain, Medicare is among their ranks.
Negotiating lower prices could save Medicare billions of dollars each year, but since the program is subsidized by the US government, this affects taxpayers more so than it affects the millions of seniors who use Medicare Part D to get their prescription medication. Either way, fixing Medicare’s bargaining system won’t help the uninsured and underinsured, but luckily there’s another way such people can take advantage of the collective bargaining system.
By signing up for a free USA Rx pharmacy discount card, you can take advantage of steep discounts on brand-name and generic prescription medication at any of 60,000 pharmacies throughout the nation. Even if you have insurance, you may find that our discounts can offer you a better deal, especially since unlike insurance coverage we don’t limit ourselves to certain medications and our bargains never run out. You can find out more by calling us at 888-277-3911 or by sending us an email at [email protected].