A study reported in the current issue of NEJM indicates that enrollment in Part D significantly increased drug spending for those persons who previously had no or a low level of drug coverage, but also led to a lower level of medical spending.
The Congressional Budget Office’s initial assessment of Senator Kennedy’s Affordable health Choices Act is that it would increase deficits by about one trillion dollars over the next ten years, but only increase the number of covered citizens by about a net 16 million people.
Many unions and some disease advocacy groups are objecting to the wellness and prevention provisions proposed in some health reform measures. In a USA Today article, the difficulties of our “system” once again point out the impediments to improvement.
Republican Senators have now introduced a bill to essentially gut federal funding or use of comparative effectiveness research, continuing an attack on the proposed expansion of such research for the purpose of controlling costs
The Wall Street Journal article summarized some research results regarding the potential cost savings of prevention and wellness efforts, particularly for persons with chronic diseases. The overall conclusion is that not much money is likely to be saved by such methods, primarily because the cost of these programs when applied to a large population tends to outweigh the health care cost savings which eventually accrue.