Wednesday :: Jun 16, 2004

Bush Can't Even Sell His Medicare Drug Fiasco Without A Script


by Steve

Read this piece from Newsweek's Richard Wolffe, posted to their site last night, to get a sense of how, after four years of campaigning or being in national office, George W. Bush is still unable to relate to real pocketbook issues. In his appearance earlier this week to tout his "achievements" in passing a Medicare drug discount program, Bush had nothing more to say to the crowd after blowing through his talking points in the binder in the first ten minutes. He then turned the program over to others, but he couched his support for the Medicare program not for extending some coverage for expensive drugs to a vulnerable population, but because implausibly the program would save money for the taxpayers.

This is like putting a dress on a pig. The last thing Bush's Medicare boondoggle does is save money for the taxpayers. Why? Because Bush put on the kneepads for his Big PharMa checkwriters and removed cost containment measures like drug price controls, drug reimportation, and "best-price" negotiations from the bill. He then allowed his HHS to withhold information on the program's true costs from Congress while maintaining the lie that the program would only cost just under $400 billion over ten years, when in fact his own HHS knew it would cost 33% more than that.

Bush is so spooked by his base of being charged as a big spender that he supports this debacle on the basis of saving taxpayers money while he is in Missouri. I doubt he will use this line of support while he is in Florida touting the bill, but the Kerry campaign should take the tape of his comments and his "I'm just about out of air" remark and run it in Florida and elsewhere now to make the point that Bush is out of touch with the concerns of real voters, including taxpayers, when he says that the Medicare drug benefit is a plus for taxpayers. It isn't. It's corporate welfare, and seniors should be reminded that to Bush, they are nothing but a prop he uses to pay off his benefactors.

Steve :: 8:59 AM :: Comments (9) :: Digg It!