This Week in Medicare…
The follow is a wrap-up of stories in the news about Medicare, Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans:
The Medicare debate is shaping up to be a focal point of the 2012 election. In the president’s road trip to California and Nevada, Obama openly expressed his opposition to the Paul Ryan voucher plan. Republicans take the stand that the subsidy is necessary to ensure a sound future for senior health insurance.
A recent poll CBS News/ New York Times poll mirrors the bipartisan split in the publics’ opinion on Medicare. The poll reveals that 78% of Democrats think Medicare is worth the cost while only 45% of Republicans feel the same way. Pollsters also asked if allowing seniors to purchase policies from senior health insurance companies was a good solution to fixing the deficit. This time, age was the factor in decision making; 55% of seniors oppose the idea while 53% of young people are in favor of the plan.
In prescription drug plan news, the Supreme Court is hearing a case about prescription drug marketing to doctors this week. The state of Vermont now prohibits prescription drug sales representatives from receiving a report of doctors’ prescribing patterns, which is a very useful piece of information in that competitive industry. IMS, a health marketing agency, says this violates free speech. The state of Vermont and health groups like AARP argue that sales reps target doctors, “who would be most likely to prescribe the latest, most expensive brand-name medicines — driving up health care costs and exposing patients to newer drugs whose side effects may not yet be fully known,” according to a New York Times article.
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