AFT Resolution

MEDICARE PART D AND PRESCRIPTION DRUG COSTS

WHEREAS, Medicare Part D costs about $80 billion a year and is on track to double by 2022 as benefits under the Affordable Care Act improve and baby boomers retire; and

WHEREAS, a significant chunk of that money is wasted on overpayments to drug companies; and

WHEREAS, when Part D began, millions of patients were shifted over from Medicaid, the state-federal program for low-income people that gets far lower drug prices than Medicare; and

WHEREAS, the Medicare Modernization Act banned Medicare from negotiating the way Medicaid and the Department of Veterans Affairs do with drug makers to get lower prices; and

WHEREAS, lawmakers insist the job be done by private insurance companies; and

WHEREAS, the Medicare Modernization Act was written with significant input from the pharmaceutical industry to prohibit the government from negotiating prescription costs to ensure Medicare would not be allowed to cut into its profits; and

WHEREAS, greedy drug companies, such as Mylan, maker of EpiPens, and Turing Pharmaceuticals, maker of AIDS drugs, have unethically gouged consumers by consciously and significantly raising the costs of life-saving drugs:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers will lobby the president and Congress to create a uniform drug benefit within Medicare and allow Medicare to negotiate for the best prices; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will lobby the president and Congress to promote legislation providing for government negotiations for drug costs; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will lobby the president and Congress to facilitate Medicare recipients purchasing safe and affordable prescription drugs from other countries; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will lobby the president and Congress to create a consumer report card to evaluate Medicare Part D prescription drug plans.

 

(2018)

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