Since Medicare was barred from negotiating prices, Medicare recipients end up paying more than those on private insurance for the same prescriptions. Many Americans with health conditions, like Steve Zuelke, worry that the transition to Medicare coverage will leave them with higher drug prices.
In 2016, Steve retired from a distinguished career running the state of Nevada’s unemployment security fraud programs. Now, he relies on insurance provided as part of his retirement package, but soon, he will turn 65 and enroll in Medicare. Under his current insurance plan, Steve’s several medications cost him $50 total monthly, but he worries about how his prescription costs might grow when he switches to Medicare. Steve supports the Inflation Reduction Act’s provision to lower drug prices for older adults and believes it will have a hugely positive impact for people on Medicare.
I’m fully aware that the new effective drugs only come out due to research and development. That’s pricey for the companies, and I understand that. But if companies can make an obscene profit, they’re going to do it. You have to make sure these drugs are viable while remaining reasonably affordable to the average individual. A rich guy is not worried about his drug costing $2,000 a month. But a normal working individual? That’s a life-changing cost for him. That’s why I’m strongly in favor of having Medicare negotiate these costs.
Read more stories on how recent legislation has benefited Americans
This collection features stories from people in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, and New Hampshire whose lives have been improved by the legislation passed during the Biden administration’s first two years.