Bush Pays Back Contributors with Medicare Drug Plan
Even the Washington Post can’t help stating the obvious: every domestic policy move that Bush makes is calculated not for the public interest, but to please those who contribute money to him. The latest example of this is the Administration’s long-awaited Medicare drug benefit plan, a proposal that even GOP superwhore and Congressman Billy Tauzin opposes because of the disadvantage it contains for beneficiaries in rural areas who can’t obtain HMO coverage.
Health care economists said the drug benefit President Bush proposed for Medicare yesterday would be a bonanza for the pharmaceutical and managed-care industries, both of which are huge donors to Republicans.
Bruce C. Vladeck, who was President Clinton's head of the federal agency that runs Medicare, said Bush's plan "strikes me as the kind of proposal the pharmaceutical companies would write if they were writing their own bill."
If Bush's proposal were enacted, it could provide a high-profile benefit for industries that are reliable donors to Republican candidates and committees. The Center for Responsive Politics said that for the past two elections combined, pharmaceutical manufacturers gave $30 million to Republicans and $8 million to Democrats.
Health service companies and HMOs, a leading form of managed care, donated $10 million to Republicans and $5 million to Democrats over the past two elections, according to the center's figures.
Several administration officials said the drug and insurance businesses would profit from Bush's plan, which is estimated to cost $400 billion over 10 years.
Even the administration officials do not bother to hide the payoffs anymore.