How Much Should Medicare Pay for Drugs?

April 1, 2019

Of the myriad policy priorities established by the current administration and congressional leadership, the tackling of skyrocketing prescription drug prices may have the best chance of moving through the legislative process over the next two years. Bipartisan proposals to address rising prescription drug prices have been introduced in both the House and the Senate; President Trump identified the issue in his State of the Union address as his next major priority; and Speaker Pelosi’s first speech to the 116th Congress listed it as a top issue for the new Democratic majority.

Rising prescription drug prices have major budgetary implications for Medicare in particular. Can the program single-handedly place downward pressure on prices without having a negative effect on the rest of the health care system?

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