WASHINGTON Congress this year could enact the biggest overhaul of Medicares prescription drug benefit since it was first established in 2003. If successful, seniors and taxpayers would be more insulated against the cost of the most expensive drugs.
One proposed change is meant to help Medicare control the costs it absorbs so that the programs premiums can remain stable despite increasing drug prices. Supporters of the drug program tout its low premiums, with the Trump administration and the private insurers who run Part D recently highlighting that average consumer premiums will fall in 2020.
But the programs overall costs are rising, and is subsidized mostly by taxpayers, who pick up the highest drug costs. One little-discussed trend is that this federal support is the fastest-growing part of the $80 billion drug program.