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Letter: Insurers have incentive to keep plans affordable

Insurers have incentive to keep plans affordable

A recent editorial called the provision that prohibits the government from negotiating Medicare Part D drug prices “a ruinously bad decision.” (“Panel offers a blueprint for dealing with ruinous cost of prescription drugs,” April 22 News.)

Yet keeping the feds out of price negotiations between private insurers and drug companies has worked wonders. Surveys indicate nine out of 10 seniors are satisfied with their Part D coverage; 96 percent report that their coverage works well. And because insurers have a financial incentive to attract enrollees by keeping plans affordable, the program cost $349 billion less than initially projected during its first decade.

With satisfaction and savings like that, it’s a shame the government doesn’t make “ruinously bad decisions” more often.

Peter J. Pitts

President, Center for Medicine in the Public Interest; Former Associate Commissioner, FDA