Under the Obama plan, the market-driven rebate framework that animates Medicare Part D would be replaced with a bureaucratic, Medicaid-style pricing regime for low-income seniors. As the Congressional Budget Office notes, this would reduce "...manufacturers' incentives to invest in R&D on products that would be expected to have significant Medicare sales."
A just-released analysis by the American Action Forum concluded that this proposal would destroy 238,000 jobs. It further found that that forcing Medicaid-style price controls on the Medicare prescription drug program would hurt patients, industry and workers.
Far from an improvement to a well-functioning program, this policy change would upend the very system that provides cost-effective drug coverage, while assuring incentives for innovation in future therapies are destroyed.
This is a dramatic policy error. It is an undisguised money-grab to finance more spending that has an established and dismal track record of not creating jobs. It endangers choice and innovation in seniors' prescription drug coverage, and it is especially ironic that a policy that would demonstrably harm innovation in a crucial industry is embedded in an "economic growth" plan.
Altering Medicare Part D in this fashion is dangerous seniors, the U.S. economy and ultimately the goal of job creation the administration claims to pursue - unless you focus on the one job that matters to this White House.