Initiatives to keep drug costs down and make hospital pricing transparent seen as major accomplishments benefitting seniors
Washington, DC — February 5, 2020 – President Trump’s State of the Union healthcare remarks hit a resonant chord with the Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC) Tuesday evening. The fast growing 2 million-member seniors group, which is the conservative alternative to AARP, praised the Administration’s initiatives aimed at making healthcare more affordable through market-based solutions.
“Unlike so many elected officials who have long paid lip service to keeping prescription drug prices in check, President Trump has taken concrete action not just hold the line, but to actually lower medication costs, said Bob Carlstrom, President AMAC’s affiliate AMAC Action. Prescription drug prices went down in 2019 for the first time in 51 years, according to the President’s remarks.
AMAC Action’s Senior Vice President Andy Mangione cited the Administration’s price transparency rule as a particularly effective market mechanism for keeping healthcare costs in line. “Simply by requiring hospitals to make both the component prices they negotiate with insurance companies as well as the cash prices they accept available in an easy-to-understand format, seniors and other Americans will become better and more discerning healthcare consumers and the forthcoming competition the rule fosters will drive down prices” he said. “AMAC members were deeply engaged in pushing for transparency and let their support be known by posting thousands of comments to the HHS website. They can be proud of the role they played,” he added. The rule is scheduled to become effective in January 2021, but already some hospitals are beginning to publish their pricing structures online.
Carlstrom also praised the Administration’s expansion of access to tax-advantaged Medical Saving Accounts (MSAs) and the President’s executive order making it it easier for Medicare beneficiaries to use MSAs within Medicare Advantage plans available through private insurers. Medical Advantage plans are already helping to lower premiums and put more choice into the hands of senior Americans. “By expanding private-sector Medicare coverage, President Trump is enabling real seniors to pay real bills rather than disguising the costs with a socialist Medicare for All fantasy that would only succeed in making healthcare more expensive,” he said.
AMAC gives Trump a high grade for his healthcare accomplishments, and notes that more can be done to contain healthcare costs. Specifically, AMAC urges the President to endorse passage of H.R. 856, the bipartisan Physician Pro Bono Care Act, which would allow doctors to write off as a charitable deduction treatment of Medicaid and CHIP-eligible patients. Enactment of this bill will both increase access to quality care for the poor and save the Medicaid and CHIP programs billions of dollars.
The Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC] [https://www.amac.us], with 2 million members, is a vibrant, vital senior advocacy organization that takes its marching orders from its members. We act and speak on their behalf, protecting their interests and offering a practical insight on how to best solve the problems they face today. Live long and make a difference by joining us today at https://amac.us/join-amac.