When the legislation was passed for Bush’s prescription drug benefit in 2003, costs were said to be approximately $400 billion over the next decade. In great contradiction with this estimate, the centers for Medicaid and Medicare have admitted that costs will actually be around $724 billion.
Considering the Bush administration’s history of saying one thing and doing another, this understatement of cost comes at no surprise. The supposedly helpful benefit will, in most cases, only provide savings for people on the lowest income level; while those on mid-level incomes who spend between $2250 and $5100 on medications will pay at least a $37/month premium and a $250 deductible, with no additional savings.
The plan was designed with a “hole” in its coverage, so that people spending between $2250 and $5100 on medications each year will receive no additional compensation or savings: They are still saving just $1500. After the $5100 line is crossed, Medicare compensates patients for 95% of their spending on drugs.
Besides the “hole” in prescription drug coverage, this plan offers far fewer benefits than those of many private employers. As a result, those employers could easily lower their standards.
I don’t claim to know much at all about this administration’s prescription drug benefit plan, but as a normal citizen just like yourself, I am not pleased with what I see.