Medicare

State of Play:  The 2020 Democratic platform includes giving Medicare negotiating authority over drugs for all public and private purchasers and capping out-of-pocket costs for seniors in the Medicare Part D program. The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission’s (MedPAC) June Report to Congress discusses the promise of value-based payment in Medicare and moving away from fee-for-service. It also calls for replacing the Medicare Advantage (MA) Quality Bonus Program and realigning incentives in Medicare Part D.

HLC Position:  HLC supports the Medicare program’s modernization through tools   developed and used successfully in the private sector and adopted for use by the MA and Part D programs. HLC also favors continued improvements to the consumer-focused MA and Part D programs while protecting the fundamental structures that have made them successful. HLC opposes Medicare-for-All approaches, including permutations such as a public option and Medicare and Medicaid buy-in proposals, which could adversely affect care delivery. HLC continues to educate members of Congress about the success of the private sector in delivering high-quality, cost-effective care to patients and consumers in the Medicare program.    

HLC Recent Activity:

  • On September 14, HLC issued a press release expressing serious concern with the Executive Order signed by President Trump on September 20 that would set drug prices for Medicare Part B and D drugs based on the lowest prices of certain countries.
  • On August 4, Medicare Today, which HLC chairs, released a survey that shows 92 percent of seniors are satisfied with their Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage.
  • On July 24, HLC issued a press release expressing concerns over the presidential executive orders on drug pricing.
  • On June 23, HLC wrote the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee in advance of its hearing, “COVID-19: Lessons Learned to Prepare for the Next Pandemic.”
  • On April 20, HLC joined a letter to Senate and House leadership on extending financial relief to Medicare Advantage providers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • On April 17, HLC shared its COVID-19 key legislative priorities list with Senate and House leadership for consideration in future legislative packages to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • On April 6, HLC submitted comments to CMS on contract year 2021 and 2022 Policy and Technical Changes to the Medicare Advantage Program, Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Program, Medicaid Program, Medicare Cost Plan Program, and Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly.
  • On March 6, HLC wrote CMS in response to the “Advance Notice of Methodological Changes for Calendar Year 2021 for the Medicare Advantage (MA) Capitation Rates and Part C and Part D Payment Policies.”
  • On March 4, HLC joined a letter to CMS on recommendations to enhance the Medicare Plan Finder.
  • On March 2, HLC wrote CMS in response to the notice of proposed rulemaking entitled, “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2021; Notice Requirement for Non-Federal Governmental Plans.”
  • On February 26, HLC participated in a CMS strategy session on the Medicare Plan Finder.
  • On February 3, HLC issued a press release endorsing H.R. 5471, the “Strengthening Innovation in Medicare and Medicaid Act.”
  • HLC continues to partner with the Better Medicare Alliance, advocating the enhanced value MA plans offer in comparison to fee-for-service.
  • HLC continues to sit on the executive committee for the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future, an alliance committed to preventing legislation that would lead to single- payer healthcare, expanding Medicare, or creating Medicare for All, in particular.