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NRLN discusses Need to Reduce Prescription Drug Prices /Episode 8

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Bill Kadereit, pres



We are committed to keeping you informed about your retiree benefits, pension funds, medical and drug costs and the truth about Medical Advantage Plans. This column features a current topic on these issues. (click here for previous FORUM articles )

Advancing Education on Biosimilars Act Passed

President Biden signed into law on April 23 the S.164, Advancing Education on Biosimilars Act of 2021, which will help increase competition and lower the cost of biologic medicines.

At the request of the NRLN Legislative Action Planning Committee (LAPC), I sent a letter to House Speaker Pelosi on April 5 requesting that she call for a vote on S.164 which was passed in the Senate on March 3 and sent to the House. I stated in my letter “this is an opportunity to get something done immediately.”

The House passed the bill on April 14 and sent it on April 20 to the President.

The new law will enhance education about biosimilar drug products in an effort to increase competition and lower the cost of biologic medicines which treat chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and certain cancers.

Providing educational materials to patients and healthcare providers will improve confidence in the safety and effectiveness of these FDA-approved biosimilar products. Improved confidence in biosimilars would lead to increased use, which in turn would increase healthcare savings.

Biosimilar medications have no clinically meaningful differences from brand name biological drugs, but they can be just a fraction of the cost. Independent studies have estimated that biosimilars could save Americans potentially $54 billion in healthcare costs over 10 years.

Thanks to our Legislative Advisory Committee (LAC) for the hours these volunteers spend filtering out and researching all retirement-related bills introduced and send to the LAPC those that the NRLN should consider for support or oppose. Letters we send pay off but most important is that you open and send Action Alerts to your elected representatives. It takes all of us!

Bill Kadereit, President
National Retiree Legislative Network



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money How much did your U.S. Representatives and Senators take as campaign contributions from the Pharmaceutical and Health Products Industry for their recent election campaigns and the current 2019-20 one? Could this be a reason why bills to reduce the price of prescription drugs are not being passed? Click here to see data that the NRLN has compiled from OpenSecrets.Org, Center for Responsive Politics. All Senators and Representatives are now shown by state and amount for ease of reviewing your state's delegation.


drugsBest Prescription Discount Cards

The Retirement Living website provides rating of Best Prescription Drug Discount Cards. Click here to access the website which has links to several Rx Discount Cards.

Pass Bills to Lower Drug Prices

Please email the NRLN’s letter to your Representative to urge him/her to pass H.R. 3, Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act and encourage your Senators to pass S.833, Empowering Medicare Seniors to Negotiate Drug Prices Act of 2021. Add your personal comments about the high price of prescription drugs. Click here to access the Action Alert.



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report card NRLN Provides New “Report Card” Feature on Members of Congress

The report card has been modified to reflect a bill that has passed and to more clearly show who is supporting us, who is not and who is uncommitted.

Do your Senators or Representative support bills that help retirees? Check it out here!


amazon smile AmazonSmile Program to Benefit the American Retirees Education Program (AREF)

The NRLN board created the American Retiree Education Foundation (AREF) in 2014 as a 501(c)(3) tax-deductible, nonprofit education foundation to expand the research and educational reach of the NRLN and to enable NRLN to sharpen its focus as an organization lobbying for the passage of federal legislation and regulations that benefit retirees.

For example, the white paper on Protecting Pension Assets which is used to educate members of Congress on the need for legislation to prevent pension plan sponsors from using plan assets for non-pension expenses was funded by AREF.. Access the white paper here.

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The articles and opinion pieces below are for information and are not necessarily a reflection of the NRLN’s position on issues. The NRLN is nonpartisan and its positions on retirement issues are presented in its Legislative Agenda and white papers that can be accessed from the Legislative Agenda tab.

Senate Dem Leaders Seek to Add Vision, Dental to Medicare
By Eric Mack; Newsmax ~ Jun 21, 2021

Here are 3 Medicare surprises that can cost you thousands every year
By Sarah O’Brien; CNBC ~ Jun 21, 2021

Despite campaign promises, 60% could see tax increase under Biden proposals
By Michael Lee; Washington Examiner ~ Jun 20, 2021

Prescriptions alone cost us $5,000 a month: How the health care system fails working Americans
By Mary Gatta; MarketWatch ~ Jun 19, 2021

After 11-Year Battle Over ACA, Is Health Law Here To Stay?
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Jun 18, 2021

Medicare No Longer Covers Pricey Brain-Cancer Therapy
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Jun 18, 2021

To Healthcare Industry’s Delight, Supreme Court Saves Obamacare Once Again
From Bruce Japsen; Forbes ~ Jun 17, 2021

The Fate Of Biden’s Corporate Tax Hikes May Rest On Who Voters Think Pay Them
From Howard Gleckman; Forbes ~ Jun 17, 2021

Biden Scrapping Trump Plan To Shift 340B Discounts on Insulin, Epi-Pens
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Jun 16, 2021

CDC Starts To Guide Doctors On How To Treat Long Covid
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Jun 16, 2021

PBGC ‘To-Do’ List: Work on Benefits, Penalties and More
By John Iekel; ASPPA ~ Jun 16, 2021

Does Biden tax plan affect those with income below $400,000? It depends on your frame of reference
By Greg Iacurci; CNBC ~ Jun 15, 2021

Where Hospital-At-Home Programs Are Heading After Last Year's Boom
By Ashish V. Shah; Forbes ~ Jun 14, 2021

Lost 401(k) accounts and pensions: How lawmakers want to fix the problem
By Sarah O’Brien; CNBC ~ Jun 14, 2021

Bill would permanently expand telehealth services
The Associated Press ~ Jun 13, 2021

To curb drug prices, Democrats still seeking a balance
By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar; The Associated Press ~ Jun 12, 2021

Billionaire tax leak deals Biden blow in getting GOP support for IRS funding
By Zachary Halaschak; Washington Examiner ~ Jun 12, 2021

Financial Decision Making Worsens With Age. Here’s How to Help Your Future Self.
By Neal Templin; Barron’s ~ Jun 12, 2021

Doctor on Call? Lawmakers Debate How Much to Pay for Phone Appointments
By Rachel Bluth; Kaiser Health News ~ Jun 11, 2021

Mark Cuban: ProPublica 'not being honest' about taxes on wealthy
By Thomas Moore; The Hill ~ Jun 10, 2021

Medicare copays for new Alzheimer’s drug could reach $11,500
By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar & Matthew Perrone; The Associated Press ~ Jun 10, 2021

Opinion: Biden Tax Tidal Wave Will Be Retirement Nest-Egg Wipeout
From Clara Del Villar ; Newsmax ~ Jun 10, 2021

Treasury Department sends out another 2.3 million $1,400 stimulus checks
By Chris Morris; Fortune ~ Jun 10, 2021

AHA urges UnitedHealthcare to roll back new emergency department coverage policy
By Paige Minemyer; FierceHealthcare ~ Jun 09, 2021

Prescription drug prices increased twice the inflation rate of US economy in 2020, AARP report finds
By Taylor Avery; USA Today ~ Jun 08, 2021

The Secret IRS Files: Trove of Never-Before-Seen Records Reveal How the Wealthiest Avoid Income Tax
By Jesse Eisinger, Jeff Ernsthausen & Paul Kiel; ProPublica ~ Jun 08, 2021

Senate crafts Pelosi alternative on drug prices
By Peter Sullivan; The Hill ~ Jun 09, 2021

Congress wants to make more changes to the U.S. retirement system. Here’s what’s in play
By Sarah O’Brien; CNBC ~ Jun 09, 2021

Biogen’s Alzheimer’s Drug Is Approved by the FDA. The Price? $56,000 a Year.
By Josh Nathan-Kazis; Barron’s ~ Jun 07, 2021

Opinion: The good, the bad and the ugly of the Biden budget
From Maya MacGuineas; The Hill ~ Jun 06, 2021

Biden wants $14 billion for the Social Security Administration. The funding could help customer service
By Lorie Konish; CNBC ~ Jun 07, 2021

Yellen Won a Global Tax Deal. Now Comes the Hard Part.
By Alan Rappeport; The New York Times ~ Jun 06, 2021

Opinion: Biden's massive budget proposal leaves the nation fiscally vulnerable
From Maya MacGuineas; The Hill ~ Jun 06, 2021

3 Reasons Social Security Isn't As Unreliable As You Think
By Kailey Hagen; The Motley Fool ~ Jun 06, 2021

Biden turns to Obama to help boost health care enrollment
By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar & Aamer Madhani; The Associated Press ~ Jun 05, 2021

Higher RMD Age, Higher Catch-Up Limits Highlight Lawmakers’ Retirement Proposals
By Daisy Maxey; Barron’s ~ Jun 05, 2021

Opinion: The cost of 'tax and spend'
From Rep. Dan Meuser (R-Pa.) ; The Hill ~ Jun 05, 2021

US businesses struggle to fill jobs even as hiring picks up
By Christopher Rugaber; The Associated Press ~ Jun 04, 2021

CMS Does Not Have To Collect 2021 Data For Medicare Star Ratings: Judge
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Jun 04, 2021

FDA Weighs Approval of a Lucrative Alzheimer’s Drug, but Benefits Are Iffy
By Harris Meyer; Kaiser Health News ~ Jun 04, 2021

Biden's 2022 budget re-ups prospect of Medicare drug pricing negotiations
By Fraiser Kansteiner; FiercePharma ~ Jun 04, 2021

Most in U.S. have little understanding of palliative care, study finds
By Zarrin Ahmed; United Press International ~ Jun 04, 2021

Expanding Health Coverage Is Top Priority For New Head Of Medicare/Medicaid
By Julie Rovner; NPR ~ Jun 03, 2021

Doctors Tell How to Make the Most of Your Telehealth Visits
By Julie Appleby; Kaiser Health News ~ Jun 02, 2021

A Shot Of Pfizer And A J&J Booster? US To Study Mixing Vaccines
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Jun 02, 2021

Obamacare Prices Continue To Slide As ACA’s Big Day Looms In Supreme Court
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Jun 02, 2021

Opinion: This Ominous Warning From Moderna Could Shake Up the COVID Vaccine Market
By Keith Speights; The Motley Fool ~ Jun 02, 2021

Biden Moves Slowly On Canadian Drug Importation
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Jun 01, 2021

How Amazon, JPMorgan, and Berkshire Hathaway took on America’s health care system—and lost
By Erika Fry; Fortune ~ Jun 01, 2021

Moderna and Pfizer are already developing COVID-19 vaccine boosters. Do we need a third shot?
By Jaimy Lee; MarketWatch ~ May 30, 2021

Interest in CBD Is High. Regulatory Oversight Is Low. Seniors Should Be Careful.
By Jessica Hall; Barron’s ~ May 30, 2021

President's budget contains many tax proposals
By Alistair M. Nevius, J.D. ; Journal of Accountancy ~ May 28, 2021

Opinion: The time is now for action on Social Security
From Jeffrey R. Brown & Mark Duggan; The Hill ~ May 28, 2021

Biden’s $6T Budget To Push Health Initiatives, Social Infrastructure Spending
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ May 28, 2021

Biden’s $6T budget: Social spending, taxes on business
By Andrew Taylor; The Associated Press ~ May 28, 2021

Column: Tax Hikes Alone Won’t Pay for Biden’s Budget Plan. The Bond Market Will Need to Pick Up the Slack.
From Randall W. Forsyth; Barron’s ~ May 28, 2021

Public option plan left out of Biden budget proposal
By Justine Coleman; The Hill ~ May 28, 2021

'SECURE 2.0' will modernize retirement security for the post-COVID American workforce
From John R. Dearie; The Hill ~ May 28, 2021

Social Security Is Rethinking How It Runs Customer Service After Covid
From Mark Miller; The New York Times ~ May 28, 2021

Covid Immunity May Last Years; Health Agencies Will Decide On Boosters
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ May 27, 2021

Sen. Murray, Rep. Pallone Launch Effort To Get Public Health Insurance Option
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ May 27, 2021

Column, Ask Larry: Will Congress Fix Social Security's Benefit Calculation Problems For People Born In 1960?
From Laurence Kotlikoff; Forbes ~ May 27, 2021

Opinion: Americans need a personal option for health care, not a public option
From Daniel Garza; Roll Call ~ May 26, 2021

Democrats announce plan to begin crafting public option insurance bill
By Nathaniel Weixel; The Hill ~ May 26, 2021

Feds take down Medicare scams that preyed on virus fears
By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar; The Associated Press ~ May 26, 2021

PhRMA files federal lawsuit to get rid of controversial Medicaid drug rebate rule
By Robert King; FierceHealthcare ~ May 26, 2021

Earn less than $75,000? You may pay nothing in federal income taxes for 2021
By Sarah O’Brien; CNBC ~ May 26, 2021

Opinion: How Big Will The Raise For Social Security Recipients Be In 2022?
From David Rae; Forbes ~ May 26, 2021

Drug Quality “Trumps” Drug Pricing
From David Gortler; Forbes ~ May 25, 2021

Mask On, Mask Off: Americans Tackle Tricky Unlocking Guidelines
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ May 25, 2021

Business groups form coalition to oppose every tax hike proposal by Democrats
By Kevin Breuninger, Brian Schwartz; CNBC ~ May 25, 2021

As Hope Of Sweeping Health Initiatives Fade, Biden Looks To Build On ACA
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ May 24, 2021

Opinion: Drug prices are declining amid inflation fears
From Randall Lutter ; The Hill ~ May 24, 2021

Second Opinion(s) on Health Cost ‘Coverage’
By Nevin E. Adams, JD; ASPPA ~ May 24, 2021

Is Your Living Room the Future of Hospital Care?
By Julie Appleby; Kaiser Health News ~ May 24, 2021

Retirement reform is on track for Biden's signature 'hopefully this year': Rep. Kevin Brady
By Ben Werschkul; Yahoo!Finance ~ May 20, 2021

Opinion: Retirees wiped out, lose millions: SEC
From Brett Arends; MarketWatch ~ May 21, 2021

Congress Looks At Expanding Doctors’ Residencies
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ May 21, 2021

As Pandemic Eases, Many Seniors Have Lost Strength, May Need Rehabilitative Services
By Judith Graham; Kaiser Health News ~ May 21, 2021

Senators reintroduce bipartisan retirement security package
By Brian Croce; Pensions & Investments ~ May 21, 2021

JPMorgan Chase launches new health-care business after winding down Amazon-Berkshire venture
By Hugh Son; CNBC ~ May 20, 2021

Opinion: How a reformed FDA can speed up delivery of lifesaving drugs
From Lawrence J. McQuillan; The Hill ~ May 20, 2021

First vaccine boosters could be needed as soon as September, executives say
By Marina Pitofsky; The Hill ~ May 20, 2021

Medicare for 60-year-olds not guaranteed to be a better deal
By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar; The Associated Press ~ May 19, 2021

45 Is The New 50: Experts Push For Lower Colon Cancer Screening Age
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ May 19, 2021

SECURE Act 2.0: 10 Ways the Proposed Law Could Change Retirement Savings
By Jackie Stewart; Kiplinger ~ May 19, 2021

CMS again delays start date for rule that aims to speed up Medicare coverage for breakthrough devices
By Paige Minemyer; FierceHealthcare ~ May 18, 2021

Former FDA Head Gottlieb: 'By June, Nobody Is Going to Be Wearing Masks'
By Lynn Allison; Newsmax ~ May 17, 2021

Medicare-Covered Older Adults Are Satisfied with Their Coverage, Have Similar Access to Care as Privately-Insured Adults Ages 50 to 64, And Fewer Report Cost-Related Problems
From Nancy Ochieng, Jeannie Fuglesten Biniek, Karyn Schwartz, & Tricia Neuman; Kaiser Family Foundation ~ May 17, 2021

Column: Who is exempt from the 10-year rule when inheriting an IRA?
From Dan Moisand; MarketWatch ~ May 17, 2021

If We Want To Put The Pandemic Behind Us, We’ll Have To Crack Down On Vaccine Disinformation
From Enrique Dans; Forbes ~ May 16, 2021

It’s no game: Virtual reality could be health care’s next big thing
By Fortune Editors; Fortune ~ May 14, 2021

Don’t Celebrate Yet: Covid Cases Hit Reverse, Go Up Again
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ May 14, 2021

Opinion: Financial market transactions should not be taxed or restricted
From Tom Schatz; The Hill ~ May 14, 2021

Fully Vaccinated People Don’t Need Face Masks Indoors, CDC Says
Barron’s ~ May 13, 2021

Pelosi drug price plan threatened by centrist defections
By Alice Miranda Ollstein & Susannah Luthi; Politico ~ May 11, 2021

Medicare cost crunch raises questions in telehealth debate
By Lauren Clason; Roll Call ~ May 12, 2021

What To Do When You Notice Your Aging Parents Are Starting To “Slip”
From Carolyn Rosenblatt; Forbes ~ May 11, 2021

Opinion: Allow Medicare to negotiate on behalf of patients to lower drug prices
By Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) & David Mitchell; The Hill ~ May 12, 2021

The Medicare Plan Finder: Still A Work In Progress
From Diane Omdahl; Forbes ~ May 11, 2021

Medicare requiring nursing homes to report weekly vaccination statistics
By Justine Coleman; The Hill ~ May 11, 2021

The COVID-19 Pandemic Did Not Cause Drastic Changes to Multiemployer Pension Plans, According to Segal Survey
Business Wire, Press Release ~ May 11, 2021

Out-of-Pocket Costs Go Up When Prescription Drug Prices Rise
By Dan Gray; Healthline ~ May 10, 2021

Walmart to acquire telehealth company MeMD as Amazon Care signs first customer
By Heather Landi; FierceHealthcare ~ May 07, 2021

What Will Healthcare Cost You in Retirement? Prepare to Be Shocked
By Maurie Backman; The Motley Fool ~ May 08, 2021

What If You Need To Appeal A Social Security Decision? What’s Important
From John F. Wasik; Forbes ~ May 08, 2021

Opinion: Even Less Incentive For Pharma To Innovate Threatens Global Health & Our Economy
From Rita Numerof; Forbes ~ May 07, 2021

Opinion: COVID-19 pandemic provides an opportunity to reimagine health care
From Shantanu Nundy &d Susan Blumenthal; The Hill ~ May 07, 2021

Opinion: Medicare beneficiaries can't wait for lower drug prices
From Amy Niles & Michael Ward; The Hill ~ May 07, 2021

Manchin Opposes Progressives' Plan to Lower Eligible Age For Medicare
By Jeffrey Rodack; Newsmax ~ May 07, 2021

Opinion: Biden’s tax plan would unravel 40 years of ‘trickle down’ orthodoxy
From Rey Mashayekhi; Fortune ~ May 06, 2021

Gillibrand touts legislation to lower drug costs: This idea 'is deeply bipartisan'
By Olafimihan Oshin; The Hill ~ May 06, 2021

CDC: Seniors falling results in 2.2 million ER visits a year
By Brian P. Dunleavy; United Press nternational ~ May 06, 2021

CDC Says Covid Could Be Under Control By July — But It Comes With A Big ‘If’
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ May 06, 2021

Telemedicine Is a Tool — Not a Replacement for Your Doctor’s Touch
By Elisabeth Rosenthal; Kaiser Health News ~ May 06, 2021

4 Ways The Secure Act 2.0 Would Change Retirement Planning
From Kristin McKenna; Forbes ~ May 06, 2021

Rising out-of-pocket drug costs linked to increase in brand-name prices
By Brian P. Dunleavy; United Press International ~ May 04, 2021

Opinion: Beware Democrats Serving Tax-Free Lunches, Drinking Kool-Aid
From Larry Bel; Newsmax ~ May 05, 2021

Biden's capital gains tax hike: What it means for your taxes
By Michelle Meyers; CNET ~ May 04, 2021

Could SECURE Act 2.0 Fix The Retirement Crisis?
By Taylor Tepper; Forbes ~ May 05, 202

Herd Immunity Debate Flares As Experts Warn It Will Be Tough To Achieve
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ May 04, 2021

Masks Stay On For Summer Travelers: Federal Mandate Extended To Sept. 13
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ May 03, 2021

Democrats must find narrow path to curb high medicine prices
By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar; The Associated Press ~ May 03, 2021

3 Changes to Social Security You Probably Didn't Know About
By Christy Bieber; The Motley Fool ~ May 03, 2021

Social Security Sees Slowdown in Retiree Rolls Amid Covid Deaths
By Alexandre Tanzi; Bloomberg ~ May 03, 2021

Should you pay off your mortgage in retirement? Experts weigh in on whether to cut that debt
By Sarah O’Brien; CNBC ~ May 02, 2021

Five things to know about the coronavirus relief laws ahead of Tax Day
By Naomi Jagoda; The Hill ~ May 02, 2021

Employers, insurers push to make virtual visits regular care
By Tom Murphy; The Associated Press ~ May 02, 2021

Biden’s Special Obamacare Sign-Up Already A Boon To Health Insurers
From Bruce Japsen; Forbes ~ May 02, 2021

The Must-Read Biden Quote on Social Security
By Robin Hartill, CFP; The Motley Fool ~ May 02, 2021