Medicare’s prescription drug program, Medicare Part D, offers a number of plans from which to choose, high voluntary participation and mostly stagnant premium increases since the program’s creation in 2006.
What’s the catch?
Austin Frakt, with the V.A. Boston Healthcare System, in his recent write up published Monday on the New York Times Upshot says while the surface looks appealing, running Medicare Part D as such places a significant cost burden on American taxpayers.
“In 2007, Part D cost taxpayers $46 billion,” he writes. “By 2016, the figure reached $79 billion, a 72 percent increase. It’s a surprising statistic for a program that is often praised for establishing a competitive insurance market that keeps costs low, and that is singled out as an example of the good that can come from strong competition in a private market.”
Frakt says the increasing costs for taxpayers is in part the product of growing enrollment. Part D has doubled in growth over the past decade to reach 43 million. Higher drug costs, he says, are also a factor.