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Obama abandons plan to alter Medicare drug coverage rules

The Obama administration is ditching a plan to alter Medicare drug coverage rules that Democrats worried would hurt them in midterm elections.

The proposed changes were heavily criticized by Congress and on Monday, Medicare chief Marilyn Tavenner said her agency wouldn’t be finalizing regulations that would give insurers additional leeway for the number of drugs covered for Medicare beneficiaries, The Hill reports

Tavennar’s announcement means six classes of prescription drugs will continue to be subject to strict rules that would require that nearly all drugs in the classes be covered under Medicare.

If the change had gone forward, only three classes of drugs would have been subject to those rules.

“We will engage in further stakeholder input before advancing some or all of the changes in these areas in future years,” Tavenner wrote in a letter to lawmakers announcing the administration was backing off. “We are committed to continuing to work with Congress to continue to ensure that Parts C and D work best for Medicare beneficiaries.”

Via The Hill