Proposed changes to the Medicare Part D program are once again making the headlines. Last week, Senator Amy Klobuchar introduced an amendment to allow the federal government to interfere in drug price negotiations between Part D plans, pharmaceutical manufacturers and pharmacies. The Senate did not move forward with the amendment, which is good news for the 577,949 Kentuckians seniors who rely on the program to access their medicines.

Medicare Part D is viewed by stakeholders across the board as a successful program. This success can largely be attributed to the non-interference clause, which allows purchasers to negotiate substantial discounts and rebates directly with manufacturers, saving money for beneficiaries and taxpayers alike.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has stated that if the federal government participated in drug pricing, it “would not be able to negotiate lower prices than exist now without restricting access to medicines for beneficiaries.” Injecting government into drug negotiations would only harm the many seniors and individuals living with disabilities who rely on Medicare Part D for their health and wellbeing.

Over the past decade, Medicare Part D has proven to be a life-changing—and cost-effective—program for enrollees. Medicare Part D is linked to increased medication adherence, improved overall health outcomes and lower costs. Last year alone, nearly 200,000 Medicare beneficiaries lived at least one year longer, with an average increase in longevity of 3.3 years. These men and women are living longer because Part D gives them access to the medicines they need to be healthy.

The Kentucky Life Sciences Council thanks Senator Paul, Senator McConnell and health care advocates across the state who support keeping our successful Part D program intact.

Kyle Keeney is the Founder and Executive Director of the Kentucky Life Sciences Council.