National Survey: America’s Seniors Concerned at Prospect of Medicare Price Setting Policies
As Lawmakers Contemplate Unprecedented Drug Pricing Measure, Medicare Part D Beneficiaries Overwhelmingly Say They Like Program the Way It Is
WASHINGTON – As Congress deliberates transformative changes to the pricing and accessibility of prescription drugs in Medicare Part D, the program remains extraordinarily popular among America’s seniors, according to a survey released today by Medicare Today. The nationwide survey of 1000 seniors, conducted by Morning Consult, found that 88 percent of senior enrollees are satisfied with their Part D coverage and 86 percent agree that their plan is a great value. The chair of Medicare Today said this survey should be viewed by lawmakers as a message that older Americans don’t want radical changes to a program that works well for them.
The survey results come at a time in which reliable access to a wide range of medications through the Part D program is uncertain. A proposed budget reconciliation bill would give the federal government unprecedented price-setting powers within the drug benefit program, which has operated since its inception through a structure of private sector price negotiations between drug manufacturers and Part D plans. Seniors, in addition to having overwhelming satisfaction with their coverage, also do not support federal involvement in Medicare drug pricing, once they learn of its potential impact on access and choice of prescription medicines.
Key findings in the survey include:
- Two-in-three Part D enrollees said prescription drug plans should negotiate prices directly with the biopharmaceutical manufacturers instead of letting government set prices and determining which drugs will be covered under Part D formularies.
- 83 percent of seniors are concerned that federal involvement in pricing could reduce choice and options for prescription drugs for seniors and individuals with disabilities in the Medicare program.
- 82 percent of seniors are concerned government price setting policies would limit access to newer prescription medicines.
- 81 percent said it is important to them to have a variety of plans from which to compare and choose.
“If Congress is going to seriously consider making the most profound change to the Medicare Part D program since it was created over a decade ago, it would seem that they should ask the people who depend on that program what they think,” said Mary R. Grealy, chair of Medicare Today and president of the Healthcare Leadership Council, a coalition of chief executives from all sectors of American healthcare. “A move to expand the power of government to control prices within Part D would fly in the face of seniors saying, in overwhelming numbers, that the program works well in its current form and provides great value.”
She added, “Rather than pursue extreme approaches that run the risk of restricting medication access, Congress should pursue patient-centered reforms focused on keeping out-of-pocket costs affordable that seniors, according to the survey, overwhelmingly support. The responsible course here is to listen to the people whose lives are affected by Part D, not the interest groups that are determined to reshape it.”
For more information and full survey results, please visit Medicare Today’s website: www.medicaretoday.org.
About the Survey
This poll was conducted by Morning Consult, on behalf of the Healthcare Leadership Council, between June 28-July 1, 2022 among a sample of 1,005 Seniors Voters with Medicare. The interviews were conducted online. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
About Medicare Today
Medicare Today is a coalition of national and local organizations representing seniors, health care providers, employers, patients and consumer groups focused on providing beneficiaries with reliable information on the Medicare program and its benefits. Medicare Today was created by the Healthcare Leadership Council, an alliance of chief executives of the nation’s leading healthcare companies and organizations from all health sectors.