The government and prescription drug pricing is a big hot confusing mess. A nice summary of the convoluted system is here.
I hear your concern, specifically that if Medicare/Medicaid negotiated better prices at the pharmacy then there would be cost-shifting towards private insurance customers to make up the difference. And yet….
…Medications in the US already cost too much! Take a look here, and a little bit down the page there is an interactive figure showing how much cheaper medications are outside the USA.
Perhaps there is room for prescription prices to actually go down, if the government were to take an active role in price negotiations.
I do not have prescription drug coverage, so my family is very “price aware,” and the lack of transparency bothers me. We use GoodRx, which helps a lot to control our costs. Will Amazon jump into the market soon? What impact will that have?