‘An arm and a leg’: New caps on Medicare drug spending

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On a Sunday afternoon in August, health services researcher Stacy Dusetzina sat alone in her office at Vanderbilt University, C-Span watches and cries.

The US Senate was voting on the Inflation Reduction Act, which is designed to, among other things, ensure that people on Medicare pay less for expensive drugs.

It’s a big deal. Many seniors pay $10,000 or more a year for drugs or do without life-saving treatment; Once the new law goes into effect, it sets an out-of-pocket limit of $2,000 a year.

Dusetzina and her colleagues have spent years making the case for this change, documenting the ways in which current policies are driving people into idleness.

The pharmaceutical industry has fought this change tooth and nail — for decades. Julie Rovner, KHN’s chief Washington correspondent, takes listeners on a journey to the late 1980s, when Congress learned the cost of messing with Big Pharma.

“An Arm and a Leg” is a co-production of KHN and Public Road Productions.

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