Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Pace and PaceNet Could be Expanded says Governor
Governor Rendell is asking lawmakers to OK a series of changes to the PACE and PACENET programs he says would help 30-thousand more seniors access prescription drug benefits, while saving the commonwealth millions of dollars. Rendell says tweaking the way Pennsylvania's prescription drug benefit programs buy drugs would let the commonwealth expand income eligibility caps to $30,000 for individuals, and $40,000 for couples. Right now, those limits are $23,500 and $31,500, respectively. Rendell says that can happen by requiring pharmacies to sell drugs to the commonwealth for the amount they purchased them at, instead of the manufacturers' suggested price. He says, “We'll pay pharmacists based on the cost they actually paid for the medication. Fair to them and fair to us.” Rendell's proposal would also make drug manufacturers give Pennsylvania the same drug discount they provide to the federal government for Medicaid. He says those changes, plus a series of other adjustments, would let Pennsylvania expand coverage to 30,000 more people, while saving more than 60 million dollars. He says this is a "slam-dunk" because it will not cost taxpayers a dime.