Even Dubya is beginning to acknowledge the shortcomings of the complicated and poorly thought out prescription drug discount card. You remember, this was the highly touted program that gives seniors a discount on their prescriptions, but only between certain thresholds of cost. It’s the amazing attempt to discount medicine without requiring the drug companies to actually lower their prices.
President Bush stepped Monday into the controversy over the first part of the new Medicare law that has gone into effect, acknowledging that “we’ve got some problems” with the drug discount cards that became available two weeks ago.
With fewer than expected older Americans signing up for the cards and Democrats working to fan opposition to the law, Bush said that some Medicare patients are shying away because they consider it too complicated to get a card. Still, he delivered a strong defense — and accompanied a 74-year-old woman to a local pharmacy where she used her new card to save $17 on her blood-pressure medicine.
“This discount card is going to save our seniors a lot of money,” Bush said.
Of course, saving $17 sounds lovely, but how much did that prescription cost after the discount? I guess she can buy quite a few cans of cat food with $17, so the old food-or-medicine dilemma is moot.
Take a look at that picture. Doesn’t that woman look thrilled to have Dubya standing behind her? It looks like he’s harassing her. Frankly, it appears as if she wishes she had some mace.