Amid heightened public concern, the cost of prescription drugs is a focus of attention by the Biden administration and lawmakers in Congress and state capitals. Proposed actions range from allowing Medicare to negotiate the prices of certain drugs to limiting some drug price increases to inflation and capping out of pocket costs for Medicare beneficiaries in Part D, among other initiatives. See KFF’s research, analysis and public opinion data, as well as Kaiser Health News’ journalism, related to prescription drugs and their costs.

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Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: August 2015

With renewed discussion of the high cost of prescription drugs recently, the August Kaiser Health Tracking poll finds that most Americans feel that drug costs are unreasonable and that drug companies put profits before people. At the same time, the public largely values the role prescription drug companies play, with most saying that prescription drugs developed in the past two decades have made the lives of people in the U.S. better, including about 4 in 10 who say a lot better. When it comes to their views of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) this month, the American public remains divided in their opinion of the law. Those who favor repeal are divided on whether the law should be replaced with a Republican-sponsored alternative or if it should be repealed and not replaced

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Medicare Spending at the End of Life: A Snapshot of Beneficiaries Who Died in 2014 and the Cost of Their Care

This data note provides a snapshot of Medicare beneficiaries who died in 2014 and their Medicare spending at the end of life. It examines Medicare per capita spending trends over time since 2000 and in 2014, both overall and by type of service, for beneficiaries in traditional Medicare who died in a given year compared to those who survived the year.

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JAMA Forum: The Partisan Divide on Health Care

In this post for JAMA, the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Larry Levitt outlines the health care platforms of the Republican and Democratic parties, noting their fundamentally different aims and differing ideas about, among other things, the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) and Medicare.

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Employer-Sponsored Family Health Premiums Rise 3 Percent in 2014

Average Annual Family Premiums Stand at $16,834, With Workers Contributing $4,823 Workers Now Face Deductibles Averaging $1,217, Up 47 Percent Since 2009 Menlo Park, Calif. – Average annual premiums for employer-sponsored family health coverage reached $16,834 this year, up 3 percent from last year, continuing a recent trend of modest increases,…

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States Expanding Medicaid Under the Affordable Care Act Expect 18% Enrollment Growth in Fiscal Year 2015, With Federal Funds Picking Up Most of the Cost

States expect the number of people enrolled in Medicaid will increase an average of 13.2 percent across the country in state fiscal year 2015 (which runs through June in most states), showing the early effects of the first full year of Affordable Care Act implementation, according to the 14th annual 50-State Medicaid budget survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured (KCMU).

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How High Drug Prices Weigh on the Sickest Americans

In this column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman explores the data behind public concern about prescription drug costs and highlights that the people most in need are the most burdened by the problem.

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Why Consumer Issues Are Rising on the Health Agenda

In this column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman examines the trends that may be leading to a rise in consumer cost issues on the health agenda.

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Medicare Part D at Ten Years: The 2015 Marketplace and Key Trends, 2006-2015

Since 2006, Medicare beneficiaries have had access through Medicare Part D to prescription drug coverage offered by private plans, either stand-alone prescription drug plans (PDPs) or Medicare Advantage prescription drug plans (MA-PD plans). Now in its tenth year, Part D has evolved due to changes in the private plan marketplace and the laws and regulations that govern the program. This report presents findings from an analysis of the Medicare Part D marketplace in 2015 and changes in features of the drug benefit offered by Part D plans since 2006.

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Medicare Part D: A First Look at Plan Offerings in 2016

During the Medicare open enrollment period, beneficiaries have the opportunity to enroll in a plan that provides Part D prescription drug coverage, either a stand-alone prescription drug plan (PDP) to supplement traditional Medicare, or a Medicare Advantage drug plan. This issue brief provides an overview of the 2016 PDP marketplace, focusing on key changes from 2015, based on analysis of data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. It presents analysis of PDP availability, premiums, benefit design, and low-income subsidy plans.

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Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: October 2015

This month’s Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds that the affordability of prescription drugs continues to be at the top of the public’s priority list for the President and Congress, picked by majorities across political parties. Issues specific to the ACA, such as repealing provisions of the law or repealing the law entirely, fall much lower on the list. The survey also probes the public’s experiences with drug advertisements. A large majority (82%) report they’ve seen or heard such advertising, and 28 percent say they have talked with a doctor about a specific drug they saw advertised. Favorable and unfavorable views of the health care law are tied this month with 42 percent favorable and 42 percent unfavorable. Few uninsured (15 percent) are aware that the third ACA enrollment period begins in November, however many (49 percent) say they expect to get health insurance in the next few months despite the fact that about half (51 percent) say they have been uninsured for 2 years or more.

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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.