Saturday, January 28, 2023


A critical number of rural IA nursing homes close; TX lawmakers consider measures to restrict, and expand voting in 2023 Session; and CT groups, and unions call for public-health reforms.


Attorney General announces enforcement actions on ransomware, Democrats discuss border policies, and the FDA is relaxing rules for gay and bisexual men to donate blood.


"Brain Gain?" Research shows rural population is actually growing, especially in recreational areas; other small towns are having success offering relocation incentives like free building lots, cash, complimentary dinners and even internet credits; and researchers say the key is flexibility and creativity.

Biden’s Medicare Move Projected to Lower Drug Prices, Federal Deficit


Tuesday, October 18, 2022   

Over the next 10 years, some 64 million people on Medicare, and American taxpayers, will save $100 billion, thanks to provisions in President Joe Biden's Inflation Reduction Act, which once again allows Medicare to negotiate prices with drug companies.

Todd Stubbendieck, state director for AARP Nebraska, said it is something the Department of Veterans Affairs has been doing for years, saving taxpayers billions of dollars.

"For years Big Pharma has had a blank check," Stubbendieck asserted. "Whatever they said the cost was, was what Medicare had to pay. Medicare is a big customer when it comes to buying prescription drugs. This finally allows them to bring down those prices."

Just as Costco or Sam's Club leverages their buying power to lower prices for customers, Stubbendieck explained Medicare will be able to do the same thing. Industry groups have criticized the move, claiming its current pricing structure provides research-and-development funds, which have produced groundbreaking new medicines.

AARP and other groups had been working to reverse a law passed by Congress two decades ago which blocked Medicare from negotiating prices, but were unable to overcome powerful lobbying efforts. Big Pharma spends $233 million a year to get lawmakers to vote their way.

Stubbendieck is not convinced drug-company pricing has been linked to research and development costs.

"I think that argument would hold a lot more water if American consumers were paying the same prices for drugs that folks around the world were paying," Stubbendieck contended. "American seniors are paying two to three times the cost for these drugs as people in other countries."

Medicare provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act are projected to reduce the federal deficit by $237 billion. The cost of insulin will be capped at $35 per month, and drug companies will have to pay rebates if prices rise faster than inflation. Out-of-pocket costs for older Americans will also be capped at $2,000 per year.

Disclosure: AARP Nebraska contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Consumer Issues, Health Issues, and Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
New data show in California, 2021-22 state testing scores are even lower than the state's historically low testing scores. (Rawpixel/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Many of California's 13.5 million children and teens have not bounced back after the pandemic, especially children of color, according to the just-…

Social Issues

Americans continue to report low trust in mainstream media, with many younger than 30 saying they trust information from social media nearly as much …

Social Issues

A Minnesota House committee heard testimony Thursday about the governor's proposed spending plan for education. As these talks unfold, public polling …

From February 2020 to November 2021, the number of workers in nursing homes and other care facilities dropped by 410,000 nationally, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

Health-care professionals say low pay and a worker shortage have led a dramatic number of nursing homes in rural Iowa to close their doors. They hope …

Health and Wellness

Health-care professionals and advocates in Connecticut have said it will take sweeping reforms to bolster the state's flailing public health system…

Since the 2020 election, GOP-led states have enacted 102 new election penalties, according to an analysis by States Newsroom and the Voting Rights Lab. (niyazz/AdobeStock)

Social Issues

By nearly every measure, voter fraud in U.S. elections is rare, but that isn't stopping the Texas Legislature from considering dozens of bills this …

Social Issues

A Republican-sponsored bill in the Arkansas Legislature would make it illegal to circulate petitions at or near polling places during elections…


New Mexico residents have two weeks to submit written comments to the Environmental Protection Agency about its proposal to implement stronger standar…


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021