Bill Would Cut Costs for Hawai‘i Seniors in Medicare Part D

August 1, 2017, 12:02 PM HST · Updated August 1, 12:06 PM

A new bill introduced by Senators Mazie K. Hirono and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) would allow for Medicare to negotiate the best possible price of prescription drugs, and potentially cut costs for nearly 70,000 Hawaiʻi seniors enrolled in Medicare Part D.  Nationwide, the program could potentially cut costs for nearly 41 million seniors enrolled in the program.

US Senator Mazie Hirono, 113th Congress.

Current law bars Medicare from bargaining directly with pharmaceutical companies.

“Our kupuna deserve to have access to affordable prescription medication,” said Senator Hirono. “This commonsense legislation allows Medicare to negotiate directly with manufacturers to bring down costs for Hawaiʻi seniors and their families.”

The legislation would allow the Secretary of Health and Human Services to directly negotiate with drug companies for price discounts for the Medicare Prescription Drug Program, eliminating the “non-interference” clause that expressly bans Medicare from negotiating for the best possible prices.

Other cosponsors of the legislation include: Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Patty Murray (D-WA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Al Franken (D-MN), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Angus King (I-ME), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Tom Udall (D-NM), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Mark Warner (D-VA) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

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