"One arm and one leg": Medicare's new drug cost cap

“One arm and one leg”: Medicare’s new drug cost cap

On a Sunday afternoon in August, health services researcher Stacie Dusetzina sat alone in her office at Vanderbilt University, watch C-SPAN and cry.

The US Senate was voting on the Cut Inflation Act, which among other things aims to ensure that people on Medicare pay less for expensive drugs.

It’s a big problem. Many seniors pay $10,000 or more a year for medication or go without life-saving treatments; once the new law comes into force, it sets a disbursement limit of $2,000 per year.

Dusetzina and her colleagues have spent years advocating for this change, documenting how current policies leave people in the lurch.

The pharmaceutical industry has fought this change tooth and nail for decades. Julie Rovner, chief Washington correspondent for KHN, takes listeners on a journey to the late 1980s, when Congress learned the cost of messing with Big Pharma.

“One Arm and One Leg” is a co-production of KHN and Public Road Productions.

To stay in touch with “One arm and one leg”, subscribe to the newsletter. You can also follow the show on Facebook and Twitter. And if you have stories to tell about the healthcare system, the producers would love to hear from you.

This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health policy research organization not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.


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