On Sunday, August 7, the Senate passed a spending bill allocating billions of dollars to climate reform and healthcare focused programs, including provisions that give “Medicare the power to negotiate drug prices for a small subset of drugs” and extend “enhanced Affordable Care Act subsidies” for 3 years, FierceHealthcare August 8 reports.
Affordable Care Act boosted subsidies have “helped fuel a record 14.5 million signups” for its exchanges this year, but subsidies will go away starting in 2023. OR Manager recently reported on how the number of Americans without health insurance coverage has hit a record low of 8% this year, exceeding the previous low of 9% in 2016.
This spending bill is part of a reconciliation package called the Inflation Reduction Act. It still needs to clear the Democratic House, for which vote is scheduled for Friday, August 12.
If finalized, the article noted, “the legislation would grant Medicare the power to negotiate for lower prices on 10 drugs in Part B in 2026,”15 drugs the following year, and 20 drugs in 2029. It also includes a $35 cap on insulin for Medicare patients only.
This move would mark a significant step towards staving off drug shortages brought on by inflated prices. Stay tuned for an upcoming article in the October issue of OR Manager on how drug shortages have affected OR operations.Read More >>