Making $en$e of Medicare's Chronic Disease Epidemic

With eight in ten people on Medicare living with two or more chronic conditions and four in ten living with four or more, the writing is on the wall that something must be done to not only improve overall health outcomes but also to address burdensome health care costs for seniors with fixed incomes working to manage their budgets and their health.

The Progressive Policy Institute recently penned an insightful discussion about the opportunity to lower out-of-pocket costs for a majority of Medicare beneficiaries who depend upon prescription medicines to manage their chronic conditions. As noted in the blog: “A policy of capping co-pays starting at the first dollar for medicines to treat chronic disease is a straightforward way of offering certainty to the patients who need it the most—those who need their medicines just to survive. And they don’t balance the budget on the backs of those in ill-health.”

Two interesting legislative proposals take aim at this issue, but are narrower in scope in terms of their focus on insulin for people with diabetes. While we know that diabetes affects about 25% of U.S. adults over 65, cardiovascular conditions and arthritis are even more prevalent. Should out-of-pocket relief cover more chronic conditions?

Together we welcome you to join us for a discussion on how the goal of our reforms not only be sustainable, but also more comprehensive solutions that relate to lowering patient access barriers and cost burdens.

Speakers will include:

  • Ken Thorpe, Chair, Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease
  • Hon. Donna M. Christensen, Consumers for Quality Care board member and former member of the U.S. House of Representatives
  • Michael Mandel, Vice President and Chief Economist, Progressive Policy Institute
  • Michael Ward, Vice President of Public Policy and Government Relations, Alliance for Aging Research