President-elect Donald Trump's nominee to be Secretary of Health and Human Services has many worried that Medicare could undergo severe changes and cuts. However, there might be some opportunity for positive changes as well.
It is no secret that U.S. Rep. Tom Price is not a fan of Medicare or any form of federal government health coverage. Since he has been in Congress, the legislator has sought to make drastic changes to Medicare and to reduce its funding. This has many seniors and elder law advocates rightfully worried.
If he is confirmed as the next Secretary of Health and Human Services, the future of Medicare is in doubt, as Price would be in charge of overseeing the program.
However, as NJ.com recently argued in "Make lemonade out of possible Medicare lemon," there might be an opportunity for positive changes to the program.
One thing Price might do as secretary is to end Medicare at the federal level and instead give each state a block grant to administer its own replacement program. That could leave open the possibility that individual states could seek to negotiate prescription drug prices with manufacturers, which the federal government is currently prohibited from doing.
While negotiating at the state level would not be as effective at lowering prices as it would be at the federal level, it would still be helpful and Medicare patients could see their drug prices reduced.
Reference: NJ.com (Dec. 26, 2016) "Make lemonade out of possible Medicare lemon."
Suggested Key Words: Elder Law, Medicare