I emailed AARP, indicating my concern with this. This was the response:
“While AARP appreciates the potentially distorting effects of rebates, evidence indicates that plan sponsors are sharing rebates with consumers in the form of lower premiums. For example, a recent CBO analysis of a proposal to eliminate rebates under Medicare Part D that found that premiums would increase for all enrollees and that federal spending would increase by nearly $200 billion, primarily due to increases in federal subsidies for premiums.
“Further, AARP has consistently said that it would be happy to run these analyses based on net prices. Unfortunately, no drug manufacturers have been willing to take them up on the idea.”
This from the estimable Dr Fein; (note the rebate percentage accruing to Plan D (senior drug card) sponsors):
Second, AARP could easily ask its “partners” (Part D plan sponsors among them) if they are getting rebates (which they are), and if so are they passing the savings along to consumers and what is the impact on those consumers' drug costs. That would allow AARP to ” run these analyses based on net prices.”
AARP positions itself as an advocate for seniors. I'd suggest failing to address this is not helpful to their members.
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