83% Of Retirees Support Restricting Prescription Drug Price Increases to Rate of Inflation, According to new Survey from The Senior Citizens League

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The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) finds that 83 percent of adults age 65 and up think Congress should restrict increases in prescription drug prices to the rate of inflation. Research by Johnson on the expenditures typical of older adults indicates that prescription drug costs are the single fastest growing budget item that older Americans face in retirement. The Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act could save Medicare beneficiaries.

The Senior Citizens League Social Security and Medicare Policy Analyst

“There are few issues that have this much common consensus among retirees as the issue of lowering prescription costs,” Johnson says.

A new survey by The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) finds that 83 percent of adults age 65 and up think Congress should restrict increases in prescription drug prices to the rate of inflation. “Medicare beneficiaries of every political persuasion are fed up with excessively high prescription drug prices,” says Mary Johnson, a Medicare analyst for The Senior Citizens League.

The online survey found that only 5 percent of those participating in the survey were opposed to the idea of tying drug prices to inflation, while 12 percent were not sure. “There are few issues that have this much common consensus among retirees,” Johnson says.

Research by Johnson on the expenditures typical of older adults indicates that prescription drug costs are the single fastest growing budget item that older Americans face in retirement. Since 2000, drug costs have increased almost five time faster than Social Security benefits over the same period. Social Security benefits increased by 53 percent from 2000 to 2020 but prescription drug costs increased 252 percent. “That’s a rate that’s hard to sustain over a retirement that can last as long as 30 years,” Johnson says.

Although there’s widespread public support for lowering drug costs, a bipartisan drug bill that would reduce drug costs has been stalled in the Senate. Now the window is closing for action. The Senate bill would require drug manufacturers to pay rebates to Medicare if their prices increase more rapidly than the inflation rate. The Congressional Budget Office has projected that The Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act could save Medicare beneficiaries $72 billion in out - of -pocket drug costs and $1 billion in premiums over the next ten years. The legislation includes a number of provisions to restrain the rate of increase in prescription drug prices, and would also cap the out-of-pocket costs paid by beneficiaries.

State Medicaid programs use a similar inflation approach to drug pricing to lower state spending, and research indicates that it works. Medicaid beneficiaries across the nation spend less on prescriptions than if purchased under Medicare Part D. “With 83% of older Americans wanting to tie prescription drug prices to inflation, Congress would be failing its constituents if it doesn’t take action now,” Johnson says. If you are affected by high prescription costs, The Senior Citizens League urges you to share your story at http://www.SeniorsLeague.org.

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With 1.2 million supporters, The Senior Citizens League is one of the nation’s largest nonpartisan seniors’ groups. Its mission is to promote and assist members and supporters, to educate and alert senior citizens about their rights and freedoms as U.S. Citizens, and to protect and defend the benefits senior citizens have earned and paid for. The Senior Citizens League is a proud affiliate of The Retired Enlisted Association. Visit http://www.SeniorsLeague.org for more information.

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Shannon Benton
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