by Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Robert Book
American Action Forum
September 12, 2013
December 8 marks the 10th anniversary of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA), which established the Part D program and made available coverage for modern pharmaceutical therapies for all Medicare beneficiaries for the first time. The success of Part D over the past decade makes it a model for future entitlement reforms. At the center of the Part D policy design is a reliance on market forces and competition. This approach raised three key questions: Would insurers and beneficiaries participate at high enough rates? Would there be sufficient competition? What would the long-term fiscal impact? Insurer participation proved to not be a concern. Beneficiaries display great satisfaction with Part D and in 2013 have at least 23 different plans to choose from in every region. The Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit has been an unmitigated success.