The Supreme Court opinion upholding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a milestone in our nation’s effort to assure that every American has the opportunity to purchase affordable health insurance coverage. Although attention has focused on the individual mandate, other important provisions of the ACA were also upheld. For Medicare beneficiaries a key provision of the law is the gradually filling of the Part D doughnut hole. Beginning in 2011, high drug spenders received 50% off brand name medications in the doughnut hole. Given the Supreme Court action today, that discount will now grow to 75% for both brands and generics in 2020, providing an important protection for elderly and disable Medicare beneficiaries who rely on expensive medications to maintain their health.
Bruce Stuart, PhD
Professor and Director
The Peter Lamy Center on Drug Therapy and Aging
Department of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research
University of Maryland Baltimore
220 Arch St, Room 12-212
Baltimore MD 21201
(410) 706-5389 phone
(410) 706-1488 fax
BIO:Bruce Stuart, PhD, professor and executive director of the Peter Lamy Center on Drug Therapy and Aging is an economist and health services researcher. Today, with health care reform and expanding roles of pharmacists, the profession is currently on the cusp of new opportunities in integrated care partnerships involving providers, patients, employers, and insurers, he says. Stuart is an experienced research investigator having published over 150 papers with a current focus on Medicare Part D policy and its implications on drug utilization and outcomes for Medicare beneficiaries. In April 2012 he completed a 5-year term on the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC).