Senate Bill Would Reduce Seniors Drug Costs

WEDNESDAY, July 24, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A bill to reduce prescription drug costs for millions of Medicare recipients and lower federal and state health costs was introduced by two U.S. senators.

The bill would limit drug copays for people with Medicare's Part D prescription plan by capping their out-of-pocket costs at $3,100 a year starting in 2022, the Associated Press reported.

Under the bill, drug makers would have to pay Medicare a price hike penalty if the cost of their medications rise faster than inflation.

The bill was introduced by Iowa Republican Charles Grassley and Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden. They said Congressional Budget Office preliminary estimates suggest that over 10 years, the bill would save Medicare $85 billion, save seniors $27 billion in out-of-pocket costs and $5 billion from slightly lower premiums, and save the government $15 billion from projected Medicaid costs, the AP reported.

A Finance Committee vote on the bill is scheduled for Thursday. The committee oversees Medicare and Medicaid. Grassley is the chairman and Wyden is the senior Democrat.

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