Sunday, July 30, 2006

It's Here!!

Washington Post (07.30.06):
"The calls are starting to come in from shocked or angry seniors. They have just learned that their Medicare drug plans are maxing out on early coverage and that they must now spend $2,850 from their own pockets before coverage will resume. The gap in insurance, popularly called the doughnut hole, is an unusual provision in most of the private plans offered in Medicare's new Part D prescription drug program." Bills Soar As Many Hit Gap in Drug Plan
Unusual? Ha! That's an understatement. The doughnut hole was a gimmick, pure, plain and simple. Without it, Plan D would have been so expensive, it never would have gotten through Congress. As it was, to get the thing passed back in 2003, the Administration told Congress it would cost $400 billion. That was a calculated misrepresentation, which in many circles is also known as a lie. About a year and a half later, after a bit of whistleblowing, the lads were forced to admit the cost would be in excess of $700 billion. As it stands right now, the damned thing is "one of the largest unfunded commitments ever undertaken by the federal government." Anyway, here's how it works. "Under a standard plan this first year, Medicare handles 75 percent of drug costs after a deductible until the bill reaches $2,250. It does not kick in again until those costs total $5,100. After that, prescriptions are almost completely paid for." How many people are going to be hit with this? Don't know."Before the program's start, the Congressional Budget Office and the Kaiser Family Foundation both projected that about 7 million recipients would be affected this year."

"Then last month, a report for the national Health Leadership Council, a coalition of health care executives, pegged the number at 3.4 million. This month the Campaign for America's Future report put the estimate back at 7 million." Markie says you pissants should be happy for what you're getting. NYTimes (07.30.06):

"Dr. Mark B. McClellan, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said beneficiaries had already saved about $1,500 by the time they reached the coverage gap. " Medicare Beneficiaries Confused and Angry Over Gap in Drug Coverage
If that isn't enough for all you whining ingrates, you "can often reduce [your] costs by switching to generic drugs and by taking advantage of assistance programs offered by many states and by drug manufacturers." And if that still isn't enough, "(n)ext year, he said, [you] can switch to plans that offer some coverage in the gap." So shut the fuck up. At least the drug companies are happy about it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Mr. Bush and Republicans everywhere. I am glad you are taking such good care of our elderly. (I hope they all remember and vote!)

9:25 AM  

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