Friday, April 14, 2006

Color Me Skeptical...

In the world according to AARP, about half the folks on Medicare lacked coverage for prescription meds; Part D has apparently helped reduce those numbers. The upside is that the new plan has helped those who’ve opted in to save some significant dollars on prescriptions.
On the other hand, "(m)illions of senior citizens have not signed up for and do not know much about" it. Almost 30 million of our seasoned citizens have signed up for Part D, but between 8 and 14 million are playing “wait and see.” Which is, of course, their right to do, even as the clock winds down on the May 15 deadline.
Not surprisingly, “(t)he drug benefit is being accepted more warmly by those who stand to take personal advantage of it than by the public at large. Half of the seniors polled approve of the plan, compared with 41 percent who disapprove.” That seems to me to be just common sense: of course those who directly benefit from a given program are going to be more favorably disposed towards it than those who are actually paying the freight.
One line in the Yahoo article jumped out at me:
AARP is working to make the Medicare drug program even stronger by allowing HHS to negotiate drug prices for the program.
Now, perhaps I’m reading this wrong, but I was not aware that AARP had such an unprecedented influence on the Executive Branch; I sure hope W had the courtesy of sending them a Thank You note.
Even stranger, she reveals that, just a few years ago, the organization “went so far as to sponsor their own Medicare Part D Plan.” And that their own studies showed that “prices in the new prescription drug benefit were lower than buying drugs from Canada.
So which is it?
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