The Obama White House cannot explain more than half of today’s announced $80 billion in prescription drug savings.
A senior official said the White House estimates $30 billion in savings will be achieved through drug companies reducing by at least 50 percent the cost of brand-name prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries who fall into the so-called coverage “donut hole.”
The other $50 billion in savings will come from unspecified and unknown changes to drug costs linked to Medicare and Medicaid.
The $80 billion in savings is a 10-year estimate.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Monday details on non-donut hole savings remain to be negotiated between the drug companies and the Senate Finance Committee.
“They’re still continuing to work through some of the details on that,” Gibbs said. “Some portion of this is going to go to the pharmaceutical interest — industry, making good on the savings proposals that the president has outlined to make health care more efficient, which will impact the amount that the government pays.”
But White House officials could not explain what drug companies will do to improve efficiency or how the drug companies will provide, on average, $5 billion in savings each year by giving Medicare or Medicaid lower prescription drug costs.
Considering they’ve been sooo honest with us up until this point on so many issues, of course we should just trust that that unexplainable $50 billion in savings will be in there eventually, right?
Related reading, via MM: The drug companies sell out