Calling the 2016 Presidential election messy or contentious is probably too charitable. For all the bluster and the personal insults, however, there are some serious issues being discussed.
One thing that virtually all the candidates agree on is that prescription drugs cost too much.
Several candidates have suggested that allowing the government to negotiate prescription prices with drug companies would lower the costs and save Medicare money. Previous attempts to do that have not gotten enough support in Congress to pass.
Next Avenue reports in "Drug Prices for Older Adults Soaring, Report Says" why this issue is so important.
A study by the AARP Public Policy Institute of 622 prescription medications found that between 2006 and 2013 the average retail cost of the medications rose 81%. General inflation only rose 18.4% during that time period. The average price of the drugs was $11,000 per year in 2013, which is nearly three-quarters the average annual Social Security benefit and one-fifth the average household income.
While the pharmaceutical industry disputes the value of the AARP's findings, it seems clear something will eventually need to be done about how much seniors pay for prescriptions and how much that costs the rest of the country through Medicare.
It can be hoped that the presidential candidates do not forget about this issue completely while they are slinging personal attacks and that whoever wins the election will actually do something about the problem after the inauguration.
Reference: Next Avenue (March 2, 2016) "Drug Prices for Older Adults Soaring, Report Says"