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Medicare Prescription Drug act of 2003: Its implications to the US Health Care Systems

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  1. The Medicare Prescription Drug Act of 2003: A primer.
  2. MMA legislative history.
  3. Immediate effects of MMA.
  4. Criticisms directed towards the law.
  5. Costs.
  6. Possible revisions.
  7. Conclusion.

The Medicare Prescription Drug Act of 2003 introduces one of the most innovative additions to the present Medicare Law. It has been hailed as one of the truly heartfelt laws to come along. It now attempts to cover outpatient prescription drugs. The present law covers drugs received by inpatients in hospitals and other medical facilities and drugs that require physician intervention to be administered either through injection or infusion. Injections like insulin that can be self-administered are however, not covered. This will be a major help not only to senior citizens, which seems to be one of the great beneficiaries of this law, but also to individuals in the lower income bracket. Mccombs and Robinsons (28) declared that ?recent information presented by the National Caucus and Center on Black Aged and the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that 43% of African-Americans with Medicare lacked drug coverage for all or part of the year in 2002?.

[...] Summer 2004: 37+. Curl, Joseph. Bush Signs Medicare Bill; Democrats Vow Repeal. The Washington Times. December 2003: A14. HR 1. Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003. Retrieved from the Ways and Means Committee Archives April waysandmeans.house.gov/media/pdf/hr1/hr1jtexplstate.pdf Larkin, Heather. Justice Implications of a Proposed Medicare Prescription Drug Policy. Social Work. Volume: 49. Issue: 3. 2004: 406+. Legislative History. P.L. 108-173 (H.R S H.R H.R. 2473). Retrieved from Office of the Legislative Policy and Analysis website on April http://olpa.od.nih.gov/legislation/108/publiclaws/medicare.asp Mccombs, [...]


[...] The reason for this is that the act gives the options to people already enrolled in Medicare get a discount card, giving them immediate discounts of 10 percent and in two years, Medicare's optional prescription drug benefit (Part will replace the cards. Part D will pay for a portion of pharmaceutical purchases for people covered by Medicare who choose the optional coverage? (Cauchi 28). This was the transitional program designed by lawmakers. Cauchi further states that these transitional drugs were already available in May 2004 Medicare beneficiaries who are not receiving Medicaid drug coverage?. [...]


[...] He cites specific types of fraud and abuses that might be committed such as pharmaceutical manufacturer inducements paid to private insurance plans and pharmacy benefit managers that will administer the Part D program in return for placement of the manufacturer's drugs on plan formularies; pharmaceutical manufacturers and/or health plans paying subsidies to employers to keep their Medicare-eligible employees/retirees on employer- sponsored prescription drug plans; health plan marketing of the Part D benefit to Medicare beneficiaries (including cherry picking enrollees, shifting patients between plans to generate commissions, and providing beneficiaries with distorted information); and health plan efforts to manipulate the period during which Part D enrollees are responsible for paying 100% of their drug costs (728). [...]

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