Tuesday :: Jul 27, 2004

More Medicare Shenanigans

by soccerdad

I have posted before on Medicare before pointing out some problems with the drug discount cards. Here's a headline that caught my eye.

600 Churches Across Country to Participate in Senior Rx Savings Weekend to Help Educate Medicare Beneficiaries about Rx Savings Link

In brief, Pfizer one of the biggest drug companies in the world came up with the idea of using churches to promote the use of the Medicare prescription drug discount cards. The churches are trying to help out their members understand the confusing nature of the program.

There may be reason for concern with this particular program.

Pfizer is promoting the company Medco Health Solutions for the phrmacy solutions. The website Campaign for America's Future points out that Medco has a long history of fraud, consumer protection and antitrust violations.
* Medco recently settled charges brought by 20 states that the company secretly pocketed $10 million, while only passing on $9 million in discounts to state workers and otherwise overcharging taxpayers.
* The U.S. Justice Department has accused Medco of steering patients to expensive Merck drugs after pocketing $430 million in payouts from drug giant Merck.
* Seniors who sign up for the Medco drug cards with the encouragement of their churches will be locked into contracts with Medco even though Medco can change the discounts or drop their drugs altogether at any time.

More info about Medco wrongdoing.

The continued privatization of the Medicare system by the Bush administration will mean increased profits for the corporations, less choice, and more risk exposure for our elderly who are seen as just so much fodder for the great American corporate machine, who then funnels a portion of those increased profits back to the politicians.

soccerdad :: 9:36 AM :: Comments (9) :: Digg It!