Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act is Hurting Seniors 

Jack_the_sparow /
Jack_the_sparow /

Deflect and redirect was the strategy of Biden’s narrative regarding his monstrous and disastrous Inflation Reduction Act, and those suffering the most are seniors who rely on Medicare drug benefits. 

In 2022, Biden promised seniors that the IRA would “lower Medicare costs” for seniors by passing increasing drug costs back to drug companies. Unsurprisingly, the drug companies were having none of it.  

The IRA is causing the “Part D” drug benefit to fall apart, resulting in seniors facing bills that are difficult for many to pay. So far, seniors have experienced a sharp increase in costs. According to a recent report, on average, individuals enrolled in a Medicare Part D drug plan have seen their premiums surge by a staggering 21% this year. Projections suggest that next year’s prices are likely to climb even further. 

One of IRA’s highly praised changes granted Medicare officials the power to establish prices for an expanding range of medications the program covers. While many anticipated this legislation would lead to cost savings for consumers when purchasing medications, the IRA’s price-setting provision aimed to reduce government expenses rather than benefiting patients directly. 

The architects of the IRA were aware that the legislation wouldn’t immediately lower drug prices, so they incorporated additional incentives. One such incentive, capping monthly insulin costs at $35, has been implemented and has garnered widespread approval. However, another provision aimed at reducing the cap on out-of-pocket drug expenses could have been well-received—except that it won’t come into effect until next year and has been poorly designed, resulting in unexpected premium hikes for struggling seniors. 

The planned reduction in the out-of-pocket maximum for prescription drugs turned out to be a deceptive tactic. Elderly individuals relying solely on brand-name medications expected to benefit from the decrease, seeing costs drop from around $3,300 under previous regulations to $2,000. However, the creators of the IRA knew they couldn’t eliminate the $1,300 difference, and the government had no plans to cover that cost.  

Legislators happily passed the financial burden for most of the $1,300 onto insurers. Predictably, insurers passed those costs on to those enrolled in their plans. 

Additionally, insurers are getting involved in the treatment of seniors by implementing additional “prior authorization” criteria and encouraging patients to begin treatment with the least expensive therapies, regardless of how effective these treatments may or may not be. 

Not only are the Part D plans unaffordable, but seniors have far fewer options when choosing insurers. As far back as 2003, there were doubts about whether health insurers would participate in the program, mainly due to seniors’ typically high healthcare needs. Surprisingly, over 1,400 plans entered the Part D market within a year. 

Fast forward to 2024, and the number of available prescription drug plans is now less than half of what it was at the program’s inception. Nearly 100 plans vanished last year, resulting in history’s smallest selection of insurers. This year, another major health plan announced its withdrawal from the Part D market in 2025, potentially affecting nearly 200,000 seniors needing alternative coverage. We anticipate more plans will exit the market in the years ahead, further limiting beneficiary options. 

Although all Medicare beneficiaries face challenging circumstances, those with low incomes are experiencing the most severe consequences. Over the past year alone, the availability of Part D plans for this group has decreased by 34%. 

High drug prices and elevated insurance premiums disproportionately impact seniors due to their fixed incomes and often extensive healthcare needs. Many seniors rely on prescription medications to manage chronic conditions or maintain their overall health, making them particularly vulnerable to the burden of costly drugs. With limited financial resources, the soaring prices of medications can force seniors to make difficult choices between purchasing essential medications and meeting other basic needs, such as housing or food. 

As premiums rise under the IRA, seniors may struggle to afford comprehensive health coverage, leading them to either forego insurance altogether or opt for plans with limited coverage and higher out-of-pocket costs. This can result in delayed care, potentially exacerbating health issues and leading to more significant healthcare expenses in the future.  

Overall, the combination of high drug prices and insurance premiums creates significant financial barriers for seniors, hindering their access to essential healthcare services and medications and compromising their overall well-being. 

The Biden administration is already waging war against women, conservatives, Christians, and the wealthy. Now, seniors are becoming the unwitting victims in yet another battle. 

You would think Biden, a golden oldie himself, would try harder to ease the burden on his fellow seniors. But ever tone-deaf Biden is likely not even aware of the destruction he has caused.