Comments Re: HHS Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Costs [RIN 0991-ZA49]

The Medicare Rights Center (Medicare Rights) appreciates the opportunity to comment on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Costs.

Medicare Rights is a national, nonprofit organization that works to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities through counseling and advocacy, educational programs, and public policy initiatives. Medicare Rights provides services and resources to three million people with Medicare, family caregivers, and professionals each year.

From our experience assisting people with Medicare and their families, we know that prescription drug affordability is an ongoing challenge. Every day, through our National Consumer Helpline, we hear from older adults and people with disabilities who are struggling to cover their drug costs. This is not surprising, given that nearly half of all Medicare beneficiaries live on annual incomes of $26,200 or less, and one quarter live on $15,250 or less.1 Most people with Medicare simply cannot afford to pay more for health care. Accordingly, any forthcoming efforts to implement the Administration’s strategy must make prescription drugs more affordable, without otherwise increasing costs or reducing access to care for people with Medicare…

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