Amid heightened public concern, the cost of prescription drugs is the focus of renewed attention by the Trump administration and lawmakers in Congress and state capitals. Proposed actions range from sweeping health care system changes to targeted initiatives that could affect Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance. 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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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.

Pricing and Payment for Medicaid Prescription Drugs

Attention to high list prices continues at both the state and federal levels with a number of policy proposals aimed at lowering drug prices and there is renewed interest in drug prices and reimbursement within Medicaid. Changes made in 2016 to federal rules governing how state Medicaid programs pay for drugs aimed to make the prices paid more accurate, but increased reliance on pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) pose challenges to drug price transparency. This brief explains Medicaid prescription drug prices to help policymakers and others understand Medicaid’s role in drug pricing and any potential consequences of policy changes for the program.

Management and Delivery of the Medicaid Pharmacy Benefit

States are limited in their leverage when it comes to controlling drug spending and use a variety of strategies to manage utilization, including an increased reliance on managed care and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). As policymakers debate proposals that include provisions related to Medicaid pharmacy benefits, it is important to understand the challenges state Medicaid programs face and how policy proposals may impact Medicaid beneficiaries and costs.

Data Note: Americans’ Challenges with Health Care Costs

This data note summarizes our most recent polling on the public’s experiences with and worries about health care costs, and it highlights where Americans place costs on their list of health care issues for the government to address and for political candidates to discuss.

Visualizing Health Policy: US Statistics on Surprise Medical Billing

This Visualizing Health Policy infographic looks at the experience of unexpected or “surprise” medical bills in the United States. Out-of-network charges typically expose individuals to higher cost-sharing when they use services, and may lead to balance billing – in which providers bill patients directly, and often unexpectedly, at a higher…

Health Issues and the Election Quiz

Test your knowledge about health facts, policy issues and proposals that are emerging among the 2020 presidential candidates. The 10 questions focus on health issues in the 2020 election, including: health care costs, prescription drug prices, the Affordable Care Act and changes in health insurance coverage, reproductive health, and Medicare-for-all and public option proposals.

10 FAQs on Prescription Drug Importation

These FAQs provide background on prescription drug importation, including how the U.S. currently regulates importation and why it hasn’t been successfully implemented before. These FAQs also describe the newest importation proposals, both by the Trump Administration and at the state level, how these proposals seek to address concerns with prior proposals, and how stakeholders are viewing these newest proposals