Just As I Thought

A bitter pill

Why is it that very little news these days is surprising? Is it that so many things the Bush administration does are predictable? Or is it my natural pessimism?
I haven’t searched back in the blog, but I am sure that I predicted the consequences of the ridiculous Medicare drug program. And here it is:

Two weeks into the new Medicare prescription drug program, many of the nation’s sickest and poorest elderly and disabled people are being turned away or overcharged at pharmacies, prompting more than a dozen states to declare health emergencies and pay for their life-saving medicines.

… “This new prescription drug plan was supposed to be a voluntary program to help people who didn’t have coverage,” said Jeanne Finberg, a lawyer for the National Senior Citizens Law Center. “All this is doing is harming the people who had coverage — America’s most vulnerable citizens.”

Here’s where I start sounding like a socialist: the underlying premise of this plan is fundamentally flawed. The entire program is simply a welfare program for big drug companies. It funnels more money to the ultra-profitable pharmaceutical industry, while making it impossible for seniors to understand and get the medications they need. It is very telling that the drug companies are not required to lower their prices under this legislation, isn’t it?
Our next president has a real opportunity, one that was passed up by the compromising Clinton administration. It is time for a real national healthcare service. We’re one of the richest countries in the world — well, if you don’t count all the debt we’re in now — and we should have a first class healthcare system that covers every citizen, no matter what their income.

1 comment

  • This all begs the question to me: why do our health care costs keep going up? Do we have to start making some hard choices about end-of-life care?

    First of all, since we are living longer, the SS retirement age has to go up. And we have to talk about expensive surgeries and treatments for very old people who are near the end anyway.

    No one wants to talk about these things but we have to.

    The Clintons tried to fix health care but they were shut down, they had no choice. It was just like Bill trying to let gays in the military, and he had a democratic congress — he was basically shut down.

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