In a rare display of bipartisanship, the 24 members of the Senate Finance Committee sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services urging the agency to reconsider a proposal to limit protected class status for certain medications under Medicare Part D. “We are very concerned this change will lead to decreased access to medication, especially for those beneficiaries afflicted by mental health problems,” the senators wrote. “These vulnerable individuals rely on multiple medications to control and treat their illnesses. Unfortunately, over the course of treatment, certain medications may cause undesired side effects or become ineffective. As a result, certain beneficiaries must have a wide range of treatment options available. By limiting the number and type of medications offered under a Part D plan, a beneficiary may be forced to rely, if only temporarily, on medication that simply does not work or results in adverse side effects.” Click below to view the letter.
In a letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Marilyn Tavenner, key Republican leaders question the legality of a proposed regulation which includes changes to Medicare Part D drug access. The letter was signed by Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI), and Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT). The leaders write, “CMS is proposing to fundamentally undermine the program and jeopardize the prescription drug plans that millions of seniors rely on. […] Given the important legal questions and irreparable harm facing seniors across the country, we request that you reject these harmful changes to the Part D program and withdraw this proposed regulation. A failure to reject this rule will force Congress to evaluate all legislative options necessary to ensure seniors are protected.” Click below to view the letter.
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