Wednesday, February 09, 2005



THE MEDICARE MESS: The industry-backed
( prescription drug
bill President Bush jammed through Congress is a bad law that keeps
getting worse. While the bill was pending before Congress, the
administration promised the bill would cost $400 billion over 10 years
( and
threatened to fire the Medicare actuary who knew that figure was too low
( . Later, the
administration revised its estimated price tag to $534 billion over 10
years, largely due to excessive payments to private insurers and HMOs
( . Now, in the
most recent budget, the Bush administration estimates the bill will cost
$395 billion over five years
. In the meantime, drug companies have already jacked up their prices
enough to offset any discount to seniors
( .