WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama strongly praised a decision by the nation's pharmaceutical industry to agree to a deal cutting drug costs for elderly Americans on Monday, calling it an example of the kind of compromise required for successful national health care reform.
The agreement discounts medications for Medicare beneficiaries currently facing high out-of-pocket expenses when their benefits reach a gap in coverage.
"Real health care reform ... will require these kinds of commitments," Obama said during an appearance at the White House.
"Today marks a major step forward, but it will only be meaningful if we complete the journey. ... We are going to get this done."
The nation's top drug manufacturers agreed over the weekend to at least a 50 percent discount for most beneficiaries for brand-name medicines purchased in the so-called "doughnut hole" gap in coverage, Obama noted.
The gap involves medication costs of senior citizens between roughly $2,700 and $6,100 a year that are not covered by the Medicare part D plan.
The deal is expected to amount to an $80 billion reduction in Medicare drug costs for senior citizens over the next 10 years, according to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Montana, who helped negotiate the agreement.
We really need better health care. As a 22 year old college student, I can afford health insurance, sadly, I could not afford the medical bills that my insurance doesn't cover. So even having health insurance does not guarentee that my health issues will not be a burdon.
My Fiance's dental bills alone were 5 grand after insurance. I don't know how we can even pay for that.
I can't wait to see the haters continue bad mouthing Obama on this. Or call all those who support Obama "naive"
Sorry Obama, GW already helped senior citizens with drug costs. But you will tell us again how you reinvented the wheel and its all your idea. Obama gets more pathetic and sorry everyday. Iran is laughing at our President and all the democrats want to do is praise this guy. At least with GW they might not have liked him but they respected him , with obama they dont like him nor respect him.
"Hope all you young, eager Obama fans out there are willing to give your grandparents that $1,700 – they're going to need it. But of course your are – aren't you???
Voter, stop your hatred of anything you dont believe in. Your philosophy has been rejected and you dont speak for the elderly. You armchair GOPers need to stop the hate.
Right Wing hate kills
This is what the health care crisis is all about. It is about the insurance companies who have to make their humongous profits. It is about the drug companies that have to make their humongous profits. There is no need for universal health care. These people need to be brought in line. Start talking about cutting the drugs makers and insurance companies profits, and I guarantee they will drop them voluntarily. At that point, everyone will be able to afford health care and/or insurance.
Why is Obama getting praise in these comments?!?!?! It was the decision of the pharmaceutical industry. NOT BHO. Lets hold the praise for when he actually accomplishes something. He isn't about to challange the pharmaceutical or medical industry, who will give Michelle unwarranted raises and promotions then!!!!
It seems like it's the Democrats that are commenting that are the least happy. I don't get you people. This is a good thing, it's hardly monumental – $8B a year, there was a gap in the legislation and the private sector filled it, the legislation that was being bashed by some of you was a new program where there had previously been no benefit.
Can't some of you relax and read a story for what it is – a minor accomplishment that really says nothing about Obama, Bush or anyone one else you want to keep score on.
What a bunch of morons on this board. You think the Medicare coverage is good and would want an extension of that for everyone. You can have it, my mother died under the crappy treatment received from a Medicare doctor. You have no idea what you are wishing for. You just think "free" healthcare for all.
I dare GOPers to say that helping Old Folks is a bad policy of Obama. Day by day the rope is getting longer and the day is coming (next election) when GOP will be hanged by Americans.