The cost of cardiovascular care for all eligible patients would drop by about $29 billion over five years, the researchers say, but prescription drug costs would increase by $592 billion and would add $120 billion to overall annual healthcare expenditures in the United States.
Supporters of a California ballot measure, which is designed to lower drug prices, lost a state court bid on Monday to alter the wording of a that may affect the outcome of the closely watched battle. And the decision comes amid intensifying jockeying over a measure that is seen as a litmus test for public discontent over prescription drug costs.
The new coverage will give substantial help to beneficiaries in paying for prescription drugs, regardless of their income or how they pay for health care now, according to Mark McClellan, M.D., Ph.D., Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). "The MMA also gives Medicare the ability to provide additional comprehensive help to those in greatest need--beneficiaries with very high prescription drug costs and people with low incomes," he says. On average, people with limited incomes who qualify for extra help will save about 95 percent on prescription drug costs, according to CMS spokesman Gary Karr.