When we look at the Medicare Part D prescription drug program as a whole, we see that it is unquestionably making a positive difference in the lives of the millions of seniors and beneficiaries with disabilities who depend on it. Enrollees have affordable plans and medications and those with severe health conditions have the guarantees that they will have access to the drugs they and their physicians have determined they need.
The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) provides information, programs, and tools that educate and empower those of us who—like me—live with mood disorders towards directing the treatment plans that will help us achieve wellness. DBSA advocates for the rights of individuals to choose the most appropriate treatments based on our own needs and concerns and the advice and guidance of our clinicians.
It would mean that discriminatory plan design and patient centered protections are a dwindling concern of our leading health agency. It would mean that a bureaucratic barrier is being constructed to block physician directed care and that short-term profit is outweighing long term health care costs – both individual costs and those to the Medicare program.
The existing Medicare Part D program of including “six protected classes” of medications is working. When the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) first implemented Part D, CMS determined that limiting a class to only two drugs was simply not enough for certain patients, including those with HIV, mental illness, cancer, epilepsy, and those undergoing organ transplantation. As a result, “six protected classes” were to give patients access to all the drugs in these classes.