Heartland Institute Experts React to Obama Administration’s Reversal on Medicare Part D Restrictions

Published March 11, 2014

The Obama administration this week announced it would scrap much of a proposed plan to limit the types of antidepressants and other drugs seniors can get through Medicare Part D. Members of Congress and industry groups had pressured the White House to make the change.

The following statements from health care policy experts at The Heartland Institute – a Chicago-based free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Director of Communications Jim Lakely at [email protected] and 312/377-4000 or (cell) 312/731-9364.

“President Obama’s surprising attempt to undermine some of the market-driven aspects of the Medicare Part D prescription drug program, in an obvious attempt to cater to the extreme left, backfired politically in an embarrassing retraction for the White House. The successful Medicare Part D approach, which provides the basis for Paul Ryan’s premium support ideas, is cost-effective, popular with seniors, and does not need to be subsumed or “simplified” in order to make it more government-run.

“The bipartisan opposition to President Obama’s stance won this round of the argument – let us hope he does not attempt to undermine this program again.”

Benjamin Domenech
Senior Fellow, Health Care Policy
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]


“It’s about time that the administration backed off on an imperious demand. Could it be a dawning recognition that patients and their physicians know more about medicine and their own needs than the central planners at CMS do? Or will people have to constantly stay alert and fight for permission to make their own decisions on medical treatment?”

Jane M. Orient, M.D.
Executive Director
Association of American Physicians and Surgeons
[email protected]

“The Obama administration’s decision to end its attempts to ‘reform’ Medicare Part D will benefit thousands of seniors across the country, but they should never have been considered in the first place. Medicare Part D is not broken. Part D has proven that a modern, free-market model can replace a system of price controls and provide medications to the neediest of Americans, all at a lower cost than the old system.

“Instead of foisting unnecessary changes on an already successful program, President Obama and Congress should be using the successful free-market mechanisms at the heart of Part D as a model for other bidding processes within Medicare.”

Matthew Glans
Senior Policy Analyst
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

The Heartland Institute is a 30-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.