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What’s the Latest on Medicare Drug Price Negotiations?

In response to higher drug spending growth and heightened attention to drug prices, some policymakers have proposed allowing Medicare to negotiate the price of prescription drugs. This issue brief provides a short history of this proposal, describes several bills introduced in the 116th Congress to allow government negotiations as well as assessments of potential savings from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), and considers the prospects for action in the future.

A Look at Recent Proposals to Control Drug Spending by Medicare and its Beneficiaries

In response to higher drug spending growth and heightened attention to drug prices, policymakers have proposed a variety of policy initiatives to lower the cost of prescription drugs in Medicare. This brief examines in detail the range of proposals offered by the Trump Administration and members of Congress for lowering the cost of prescription drugs, their known effects on the federal budget, and their potential implications for beneficiaries and other stakeholders.

Overview of Medicaid Per Capita Cap Proposals

The House Republican Plan (“A Better Way”) released on June 22, 2016, includes a proposal to convert federal Medicaid financing from an open-ended entitlement to a per capita allotment or a block grant (based on a state choice). This proposal is part of a larger package designed to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and reduce federal spending for health care. Often tied to deficit reduction, proposals to convert Medicaid’s financing structure to a per capita cap or block grant have been proposed before. Such changes represent a fundamental change in the financing structure of the program with major implications for beneficiaries, providers, states and localities. Key things to understand about a per capita cap include the following: how a per capita cap works, key design challenges, and implications of a per capita cap.

Modifying Medicare’s Benefit Design: What’s the Impact on Beneficiaries and Spending?

This report examines an approach to reforming Medicare that has been a focus of Congressional hearings and featured in several broader debt reduction and entitlement reform proposals, and was included in the June 2016 House Republican health plan. The analysis models four different options for modifying Medicare’s benefit design, all of which include a single deductible, modified cost-sharing requirements, a new cost-sharing limit, and a prohibition on first-dollar Medigap coverage. The analysis models the expected effects on out-of-pocket spending by beneficiaries in traditional Medicare, and assesses how each option is expected to affect spending by the federal government, state Medicaid programs, employers, and other payers, assuming full implementation in 2018.

American Views on Ebola Response and U.S. Global Health Efforts

A new Kaiser Family Foundation survey about the U.S. role in global health finds the public puts meeting basic needs such as improving access to clean water and food and helping children at the top of the priority list for U.S. global health spending. Addressing the Ebola outbreak in West…

Income-Related Premiums in Medicare: Who Pays, and How Much Do They Pay?

Since 2007, seniors with incomes greater than $85,000 have had to pay higher premiums for Medicare than their counterparts with lower incomes.  Six percent of Medicare Part B enrollees are expected to pay higher monthly premiums in 2015, ranging from $147 to $336, depending on their income.  Lawmakers on Capitol…

Reading the Tea Leaves on U.S. Global Health Policy

In this Policy Insight, Jen Kates and Josh Michaud look at the prospects for the future of U.S. global health policy, examining whether long-term bipartisan support may be tested during a time of political transition, and identifying key areas of consensus among policymakers and the public.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.