The reality of health reform

The Obama administration announced last week that 3.6 million Medicare Part D recipients received $2.1 billion in pharmaceutical discounts in 2011, thanks to health reform.

Because of the law, drug companies are required to give seniors discounts once they reach the so-called doughnut hole, at which point they have to pay up to $4,550 out-of-pocket after their prescription costs pass $2,840 in a given year.

This is an excellent example of why health reform likely will not be repealed even with a Republican president and majority in Congress. The pharmaceutical industry agreed to these discounts to help pay for reform because Medicaid expansion and the health insurance exchanges would expand the market. Seniors are now enjoying them. Repealing reform would (1) spit in the eye of one of most powerful lobbies in Washington, and (2) deeply disappoint the most powerful voting bloc.

Ain’t. Gonna. Happen.