Update No. 2 on Discount Drug Card

Update No. 2 on Discount Drug Card

In one of our recent updates we said we hadn’t heard anything new about the $200 drug discount card for seniors that President Trump had announced in September.  The program ran into obstacles because of a number of issues, including how it was to be paid for and the fact that it could violate federal election laws as an attempt to buy votes using taxpayer money.

But according to a report in Politco last week, “… the administration’s Medicare team has put together a revised plan — which was circulated inside the administration on Tuesday, with instructions to expedite approval — to start sending letters to 39 million beneficiaries within the next week, touting the drug-discount cards. The cards would then arrive across December and January, according to four officials with knowledge of the plan.”

The most recent report is that the Trump administration expects to begin sending $200 prescription drug discount cards to seniors by Jan. 1.

The program is still controversial because it is expected to cost at least $6.6 billion and will be funded by taking money from other places within the Medicare budget.  One health official briefed on the revised plan called it a ‘horrible idea’ that would inappropriately dip into Medicare's trust fund, adding that the timing still raises questions.