Americans concerned about not being able to afford life-saving treatments should not blame drug companies for high prices, a former health adviser to George W. Bush said.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb of the conservative American Enterprise Institute told CNBC
there's not really a drug cost problem in the U.S., except for a small subset of specialty drugs that cost a lot but are providing a lot of benefit.
"What we have is an under-insurance problem," he said. "People are now under-insured, especially for catastrophic drugs if they get a disease like cancer or something like that because of these new [narrow] formulary designs … popularized by the Affordable Care Act."
Defined on the government health care website, the term formulary, also known as a drug list, is described as a rundown of treatments covered by a prescription plan or another insurance plan offering prescription drug benefits.
"If the drug is not on your [Obamacare] formulary list, you have no co-insurance. You're completely on your own," said Gottlieb, an adviser to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in the Bush presidency.
"Since these plans are the predominant structures in Obamacare, they're starting to migrate into commercial plans" in the workplace, he said.
Meanwhile, the has U.S. proposed new Obamacare rules Friday that it says will make it easier for people to shop for health insurance, protect them from some out-of-pocket costs, and help states run the marketplaces where plans are sold, Bloomberg reported.
"The changes would apply to insurance plans sold on the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces for 2017, the law’s fourth year of coverage. Consumers will buy those policies starting on Nov. 1, 2016. The rules are still in proposal form and will have to be finalized after a period of public comment," Bloomberg reported.
The proposal “seeks to improve the consumer experience, both when individuals shop for health insurance and when they use it,” the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversees many aspects of the law, said Friday in a statement.
(Newsmax wire services contributed to this report).
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