Those $200 Medicare Drug Discount Cards From Trump Administration Won't Happen

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  • The cards would have gone to about 39 million Medicare beneficiaries.
  • The plan was criticized for its $7.9 billion price tag, as well as its questionable legality.

Those promised $200 prescription drug cards for Medicare beneficiaries won't be coming.

With little time left before President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated on Jan. 20, the Trump administration is backing off its plan to send the discount cards to roughly 39 million Medicare enrollees, an official for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services confirmed to CNBC. The agency's head, Seema Verma, earlier told Business Insider that she didn't anticipate the cards being sent.

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President Trump first pushed his plan during a campaign speech delivered in Charlotte, North Carolina, in late September. The cards received criticism for their cost ($7.9 billion) and questionable legality.

The White House had said the cards would be paid for under a Medicare program that's generally intended to test innovations to lower prices or improve health care.

In this case, the idea was to measure whether the extra money would improve a person's ability to take medications as prescribed because they could better afford them. In Medicare, there is no out-of-pocket limit for Part D prescription drug costs.

However, lower-income beneficiaries already get extra help and appear to be excluded from this proposal.

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