I said it before and I'll say it again: the VA is an outstanding organization that provides top-notch medical services with efficiency and cost-control unmatched in any other major sector of US health care:
Prescription drug prices under the new Medicare drug benefit are considerably higher than the prices negotiated by the Department of Veterans Affairs, according to a study by Families USA, the St. Petersburg Times reports. The study found that the median price difference for a one-year supply of the 20 drugs most commonly prescribed to seniors is 48.2%. The VA plan negotiates prescription drug prices for its five million members, while the 2003 Medicare law prohibits the government from directly negotiating with drug makers to determine prices for the program's 43 million beneficiaries.I said it before and I'll say it again: the Medicare Part D Drug benefit is a giant sucking sound for taxpayers, whose in-bed-with-pharma(who can resist those cheerleaders, anyway?) representatives negotiated the worst deal for U.S. health care in years.
The survey also found:Why, oh why, oh why, oh why did we let this legislation pass?! Seniors deserve to know what kind of deal they got (and I'll give you hint -- it doesn't follow Wal-mart's dictum).
A one-year supply of the osteoporosis treatment Fosamax is $493.32 under the VA plan, compared with the lowest available Medicare prescription drug plan price of $709.68;
Acid reflux medication Protonix is $253.32 under the VA plan, compared with the lowest available Medicare prescription drug plan price of $1,080;
Cholesterol-reducing medication Lipitor is $497.16 under the VA plan, compared with the lowest available Medicare prescription drug plan price of $717.84 (Nohlgren , St. Petersburg Times, 12/22);
According to the study, "It is very likely that beneficiaries -- and taxpayers who subsidize the Medicare drug benefit -- are paying significantly more than they would" if Medicare negotiated prices.