|Selected news articles which highlight important policy issues.||
News: Weekly Archives
News for the week of 11-26-2006
Success of Drug Plan Challenges Democrats
The Washington Post reports that while Democrats made government negotiation of drug prices in the Medicare drug benefit a central plank of their campaign agenda, actually delivering on that campaign promise may prove to be harder than expected given the current popularity and success of the program.
House Democrats have vowed to act quickly after taking power in January to lift a ban on Medicare negotiations with drugmakers, which they hope will save as much as $190 billion over a decade. But House leaders have yet to settle on a strategy and acknowledge that negotiation is, in any case, unlikely to generate sufficient savings to fill the "doughnut hole," the much–criticized gap in coverage that forces millions of seniors to pay 100 percent of drug costs for a few weeks or months each year.
We could also add that even though Medicare price controls are in effect for physicians and hospitals, it has not helped make the program any more fiscally sustainable. Perhaps rather than looking at the success of the market–driven Medicare drug benefit as a problem, Democrats should start thinking of it as a model for the rest of Medicare.
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