93 F
College Station
Sunday, August 1, 2021

The Debate Over Infrastructure Funding Gimmicks Is Exactly What’s Wrong With Washington

Local News

College Station Bans Traditional Pet Shops

At Thursday's meeting, the College Station city council passed an ordinance that prohibits the sale of non-rescue dogs and cats in pet...

College Station to Vote on ROO in Special Meeting Today

The College Station City Council meets Monday at 4 p.m. at city hall to consider a Restricted Occupancy Overlay (ROO). The ordinance would allow single-family...

College Station Plans on Borrowing Additional $62 Million Without Taxpayer Vote

The College Station City Council voted to begin the process of issuing $62 million in certificates of obligations for capital projects. The...

Brazos Valley Hospitalizations Continue to Decline After Mask Order Rescinded

Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued Executive Order GA-34 on March 2, 2021, and the order went into effect on March 10, 2021....

After a conservative backlash, Republican senators negotiating an infrastructure bill have objected to an increase in funding and authority for the IRS. In lieu of additional revenue obtained from auditing taxpayers, how do lawmakers now propose to fund increased federal spending allegedly on roads and bridges? Through a budget gimmick.

In short, Congress now wants to repeal a rule that 1) hasn’t gone into effect and 2) likely won’t ever go into effect, so it can take the phony “savings” associated with repealing something that won’t happen anyway and use it to “pay for” real increases in spending.

You read that right. If you had any doubt that Washington has a problem with spending discipline, read below for further details.

What is Congress proposing?

Lawmakers are looking to repeal a rebate rule promulgated by the Trump administration two weeks after last November’s election. The rule (summary available here) would prohibit drug companies from paying rebates to pharmaceutical benefit managers (PBMs), unless the PBMs pass on those rebates at the point of service.

For instance, a drug company might give a PBM a $30 rebate on a $100 pharmaceutical. But rather than passing that rebate on to the end user, so the consumer pays $70 at the drug counter, most PBMs currently use the rebates to reduce plan premiums instead. The rule would require PBMs in Medicare Part D to pass these rebates directly on to seniors.

What budgetary effects would the rebate rule have?

The Congressional Budget Office and the Medicare actuary both believe it would raise federal spending. Requiring PBMs to pay rebates directly on to consumers by definition prohibits them from using those rebates to reduce premiums.

Without the rebate dollars flowing back into Part D plans, premiums could well rise. When the administration first issued the rebate rule in 2019, the Medicare actuary estimated that it would raise Part D premiums from $3.20 to $5.64 per month.

Medicare subsidizes roughly 75 percent of Part D plan premiums, meaning that if plan premiums rise, so will federal spending on prescription drug coverage. CBO said in 2019 that the

Continue reading on thefederalist

More articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

State News

Biden Admin Sues Texas Over Executive Order Cracking Down on Transportation of Illegal Aliens

The Biden administration has filed a lawsuit against the State of Texas, after Gov. Greg Abbott released an executive order earlier this week prohibiting...

Austin Taxpayers Forced to Pay Left-Wing Consultants $10K/Day for Critical Race Theory Training

If it’s another week, it’s another boondoggle for the City of Austin, all paid for by citizens’ tax dollars. According to recent open records...

Abbott’s Latest Order Doesn’t Protect Long-Term Care Visitation Rights

Gov. Greg Abbott’s latest executive order leaves in place visitation restrictions for residents of long-term care facilities. Some facilities have even locked down again,...

The Liberty Café 44: Stupidity and Texas Republicans

Republicans have wasted a good portion of the 19 years they have been in charge of Texas government. On Episode 44 of the Liberty...

Fighting Honorably, In Context

As the saying goes, “Context is king.” Nowhere have I seen that so practically displayed as in Israel, where passages from the Bible spring...

Continue reading on thefederalist