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June 23rd, 2009
10:02 AM ET

Medicare Drugs See Price Cut

Help may be on the way for the millions of seniors caught in the Medicare "donut hole." Tony Harris and CNN Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen discuss President Obama's announcement about relief for seniors stuck with high prescription drug bills.

Filed under: Tony Harris
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Larry

    This is another feather in the cap of our fine President.

    President Obama, you're doing a fantastic job!

    June 23, 2009 at 10:14 am |
  2. Brock Martin

    Yet another crisis that our President is attempting to fix. He has done more good in half a year than Bush did in eight.

    June 23, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  3. nan pearl

    Good start!!

    So much more to do, especially with so little help from 'certain' democrats that just don't get it!!!!!!

    June 23, 2009 at 11:42 am |
  4. James from Minnesota

    Its great that Obama is attempting to make our healhcare system better but if he tries to put the squeeze on healthcare providers any more than he is currently planning, it won't be long before our best and brightest choose fields other than medicine and development of new prescription drugs slows dramatically.

    If we want better healthcare and to cover more people, we are going to have to pay for it. Ive got news folks, it's NOT FREE.

    June 23, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  5. Donny

    First off Tony, I am a teenager and I may not know a lot of things but I do know this. I will be paying for this "stimulus bill" all my life and I am not looking forward to my taxes once I get out of college and into the real world. Also I thought that this country is ran on Capitolism and not Socialism! I am a staunch supporter of Capitolism and this new bill will become a slipper slope in my eyes. Plus with that cost then I will be paying even more taxes... I thought adults were suppose to make a better future for their kids, not make it worse.

    June 23, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  6. conrad plonski

    I understand that the medicare drug price cut will only go into effect if a health care program is enacted.

    June 23, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  7. harold delucantonio

    Health care reform will not come until the people take to the streets, and the 800 pound beast in the room is that even people with good insurance are forced to go bankrupt. All the people with insurance feel safe, but their not.

    June 23, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  8. Chris Staggs

    The Health Care debate is not a debate concerning quality healthcare but, a deabte on costs. Our system is a "for profit" system and as long as healthcare remains a for profit propostion then the powers that be will not go along with change. Also, you must ask the question why the healthcare providers and insurance companies are so concerned about our choices? For those of you on PPO or HMO's the Insurance providers (who usually are "managing" the health plans for companies as many companies are self insured) have an MRO, Medical Review Officer, who decides whether your treatment or surgery is necessary, your Doctor does NOT decide that. The opponents against a Gove't sponsored plan are simply sprerading misinformation and fear. We need to sponsor and support a Healthcare plan that covers all, not just the few, and remove the burden of healthcare coverage from our businesses so we can compete globally. Thanks.


    June 23, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  9. Kip

    I am not a democrat or republican. However, It seems the views of republicans are continually being shown against everything the president is doing.

    To start with, they are saying that the government is trying to take too much control of health care. It is the opposite, they are not trying to take enough control. I would love to have their plan over what Kentucky currently provides me as a teacher. Most of my salary is gone when I get done paying my share for my families health insurance, then we still end up with bills from the hospitols.

    Second issue is Iran. The president is taking the right stance. As soon as we get involved, everything will be our fault. The rest of the world doesn't look at us as any sort of savior, rather they look at us as an intruder with a better than you attitude. We need to allow the Iranians to demonstrate their rights and do what they deem neccessary without any of our influence. I feel for all the people here who have relatives over their. I really do, but they should know that their relatives, although interested in our verbal support do desire us to butt out.


    Clippert K. Connin, M.Ed., M.I.T

    June 23, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  10. Eileen Kelly

    I feel that everyone needs to step back and take a fresh look at the other industrialized countries that have been providing health care assistance for those living in those countries. Like France, Canada, England, Denmark etc. etc. etc.
    Also take a look at the movie by Michael Moore "Sicko" a real eye opener.

    June 23, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  11. Ray

    Let's look at it simply. I'm on the backside of Baby boomers. The front of he group is starting to hit Medicare. We will drive the costs through the roof for the government. We've worked, payed our dues and expect the system to work for us. Currently the system will not. Add the amount of people who are added to the system with the unemployment today and companies who are cutting cost and Health Care and Safety are looked at as overhead you can see where many more will lose Health Care. Insurance is nothing more than gambling. As long as the House is winning there happy. When there not they cry for help. If you look at how many times the Government has helped the Insurance Industry in the past you'll see the government should be the Insurance for us. I like a government option for health care. I work heavy construction and most of us are not insured by the nature of the job. We work ourselves out of a Job?

    June 23, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  12. Victor Hernandez

    Hello Tony,
    I am currently on the no employment, no insurance and not a major need for health insurance plan. However knowing I still might need a doctor for an illness I looked into a community program that is $50 a month and has unlimited visits. They also have family plans that include up to 4 family members for $100 a month. I really feel once americans get out of the perception that a major insurance company or an employer who offers insurance benefits are "not" the only means to getting health insurance and with a little research, they will see a gold nugget for what many americans can't be without. Access to a doctor and their nurses for $50 bucks a month, get educated and swallow your pride is what I say when looking into affordable healthcare in your community.

    June 23, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  13. CC Cole

    I find it amazing that the Republicans have the chutzpa to make demands on this President after they ran through Tax payer money, distroyed Americas reputation. Started the wrong war in the wrong place. If I mad ethe horrible racist cracks. The obvious attempts to bring harm to the best President we have had in eight horrible years. I would be held responsible for un American activities.
    Americas best and brightest are trying clean up this mess the republicans have made. They need to get on board and assist this President or quietly burrow into the whole they dug for themselves.
    Sorry about the spelling. Late for work

    June 23, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  14. J

    The pharmaceutical industry is getting off easy. Our government should be the sole re-seller of all prescriptive products... fixing inflated prices once and for all. Their savings could go towards fixing our Healthcare System...putting our medical care back into the hands of doctors, not someone over at an insurance company who decides we can't have a life saving procedure or drug because it costs to much.

    We need real Healthcare Reform. Hope we see real change and not broken promises.

    June 23, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  15. Dee in sunny (and somewhat wet) Florida

    If a person has to choose between buying their medication and buying food, it is a national disgrace!

    This "help" is a crock! What SHOULD be done is, Medicare needs to NEGOTIATE with the drug companies in exactly the same way as other insurers do to get prescriptions down to REALLY affordable levels. And by that I mean $10 max. (of course for a large number of Americans even that is a huge hardship)

    What is astonishing is that we have become such a MEAN society, in that we seem to be perfectly willing to let our older people just live in abject poverty and would really like the problem to just go away! Isn't that sort of what Hitler wanted to do, make the "problem" go away?

    People, please think!

    If we had a national health care system under which everyone was covered, that would not be the end of the world as we know it, but it sure would be the beginning of a great new world as far as our parents and grandparents are concerned. (Yes, don't forget, those who are living in poverty and who cannot afford to have both food and medications, are someone's FAMILY members!)

    For this Congress and this President to come up with ANYTHING short of a good solid national health plan will be disastrous.

    And would it be expensive? Well, think again. If the insurance companies and drug companies right now are making HUGE PROFITS, (profit is what is left after every operating cost has been paid), then the current system MUST be profitable! So, take away the profit factor, let each person pay a premium to the government system, and it should pay as it goes! And many people who are now paying out the nose for their private insurance might even see a DECREASE in their payments, as the profit factor would not be there. After all, if an insurance company is making a PROFIT, who is paying for that? The covered individuals, that's who!

    June 23, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  16. Fred Kagan

    How about some straight talk about the proposed health care plan changes.
    Whether we have private or public insurance all comes down to who will have the power/authority to negotiate with drug and medical equipment suppliers. The question is not whether or not your insurance will pay for the MRI that you need , but rather the fact that there are only limited suppliers that make the machine and therefor artificially high prices and the hospital is trying to profit from there investment.
    When the supply of medicine and medical equipment becomes a controlled for profit industry , like much of our food supply , then we will have real control over our individual health care needs.

    June 23, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  17. Abdallha

    Great plan and good work but I keep wondering if this admin. has a VP?!!! Seems like the Big man likes the light spot

    June 23, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  18. Jamaal Hakeem

    Hello Rick, I watch CNN everyday and the story on Neda is extreamly sad! but i feel CNN is very one sided, we have many people of color who is treated this way in America without a protest. Here in LA people of corlor are slaudered but never get the same passion CNN is giving Neda or Iranians who are on the side of America, I'm sure some protesters on the other side of Neda has been killed as well. Let's be fair.

    June 23, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  19. Didi Tillson

    Sexual Abuse/Rape

    Many young adults are privy to the chain of events that happen in every day life, be it good, unresponsive, or petrifying. Yet, many have not experienced the trauma and heart-felt agony a child encounters growing up in unnatural enviornments, which could possibly lead to death by suicide, and or leave them with brain damage. Some are unable to to communicate with the world around them, as they grow older.

    June 23, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  20. Bill -Sedona

    Please... give us a break and cease reporting on latest from Kate & Jon- these folks are using the media to promote themselves- reality updates through legit media- they get a free ride and WE all are being put upon.
    Go back to real news about the world and nation that matters.
    CNN (and others) are becoming the new National inquirer rag for mindless junkies. Keep it on the E.tainment programs at least.

    June 23, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  21. Patricia

    The jury is still out, but I'm apprehensive about the verdict. I have a feeling I will win on some aspects, but lose on others. It will be a win in that I will probably be able to get insurance even if I have pre-existing conditions. I might lose if I have to pay for it if I'm unemployed. It will be a loss if I have to pay taxes on my health insurance. I also think employers will choose the cheapest options available to them, which is what most of us have to do, so I don't feel too bad about that. Those who have more options will consider that possibility a loss.

    June 24, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  22. bob


    June 24, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  23. Diana - Oregon

    Until the pharmacy and insurance lobbyists get out of the way, there will be no real health insurance reform in this county. We are being taken to the cleaners by big business that takes care of itself before taking care of any other responsibility. Have you dealth with your medical insurance provider lately??? it's like calling 1-800 and geting someone who doesn't speak your language. And the pharm folks??? they spend billions on advertising in every magazine and printed paper in the world but zilch on helping people. If they say they will "help" us on this, look over your shoulder to see what else is coming out of your pocket.!

    June 24, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  24. msmith1122

    (99.9% of people are emotionaly iliterate) I might not be the smartest man but at lease i'm literate.

    June 24, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  25. Carol

    Tony, before jumping onboard so quickly, as you tend to do at times (few days ago it was a "trend" in 2 months of increased home sales), first think! Less money for health care equals less access to health care for millions of American families. I lost an Aunt because she couldn't afford her medications and paying for rent, utilities, and food, so she stopped her insulin injections. We helped her out the best we could because she had a low income, but she never said a word about stopping her medicine. My Stepbrother died because of HMO gatekeepers after he was seriously injured in a car accident...he was 17 and a passenger when a semi-truck side-swiped their car at an exit ramp. His heart was injured, but the HMO kept putting off the surgery till he suddenly died. Yes he could have been saved. My Dad and his Mom were told he had improved that morning and they could go get a change of clothes and a bite to eat. They drove home to shower and change, but when they arrived at the house they were called by the hospital. The boy died from his injury half an hour after they left. My Mother had a death warrant signed by her HMO when those who review referrals said she couldn't go to a specialist in her rare type of cancer even though her Oncologist requested it because she's losing her battle and needs more than he can give. I have a permanent disability due to absolute negligence which wrecked an incredible career. I could go on and on telling of our nightmares. It's clear that HMO "Gatekeepers" have killed many people and prevented so many more from getting the proper care they need. Medicare (or should I say socialist medicine?) has improved while private insurance is too expensive to use.

    June 25, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  26. David Delucantonio

    Health care reform will not come until the people take to the streets, and the 800 pound beast in the room is that even people with good insurance are forced to go bankrupt. All the people with insurance feel safe, but their not.

    August 13, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  27. Corina

    It's a Health Spending Account. Type your question in the white Search Box at the top of this page. (It won't cost you any pnoits.) This question has been asked before, and you'll find the complete explanation there. (The first question is yours, and the second question has the whole explanation.)

    May 10, 2012 at 8:33 pm |

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