The Impact of the Medicare Drug Benefit on Health Care Spending by Older Households

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December 2008, Dean Baker and Ben Zipperer

This report uses data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey from 2004 to 2006 as well as data from the Congressional Budget Office to analyze the savings in prescription drug spending for seniors as a result of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA). The results show that the 1st income quintile of seniors experienced a fall in the rate of expenditures for prescription drugs and the 2nd income quintile saw a slowing of the rate of increase in expenditures. However, senior households in the middle- and upper-income quintiles saw a rise in expenditures for prescription drugs.

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