Monday :: Dec 11, 2006

Strong Public Support For Medicare Drug Benefit Changes


by Steve

Despite the opposition from the pharmaceutical and managed care industries, who are getting a large amount of corporate welfare from the Bush Administration’s Medicare Part D drug program, the incoming Democratic congressional leadership has already indicated a willingness to pass legislation allowing the federal government to negotiate for lower drug prices in the Medicare program. Those who benefit from the current flawed program that was implemented with false cost estimates back in 2003, the drug companies and the HMOs, are already trying to buy the loyalties of incoming Democratic committee members to fend off any government involvement in the negotiation of better prices for drugs, or even the establishment of a Medicare-run fee-for-service drug program as a lower cost alternative to the managed care plans that are now overpaid by the government for providing these services.

But a new poll commissioned by the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that 85% of those polled want the federal government to negotiate for best prices, putting the Bush Administration in the small minority opposing such cost cutting measures. The administration, as it normally does, lies about the cost savings from such efforts and ignores the facts, and would veto any change to the current program that would harm the financial interests of the drug companies and HMOs, who write large checks to the GOP and the White House.

Julie L. Goon, special assistant to Bush for economic policy, said that Medicare beneficiaries are saving an average of $1,200 a year on drugs and that the existing program is popular and efficient.

Prove it, Ms. Goon.

"The government doesn't do a particularly good job of negotiation," Goon said.
That is a lie.
"I think it would be a mistake to open up the political process to what particular prices are available for drugs."

Of course you would, Ms. Goon. And who is Julie Goon, and whose interests does she represent at the White House? Not surprisingly, Goon worked for the managed care industry before coming to the White House, and would say or do anything to protect the billions in subsidies that the Bush Administration larded onto the HMOs to provide a drug benefit that could be run by Medicare itself much more efficiently and inexpensively. The federal and various state governments already negotiate directly for lower drug prices, a fact that Goon and the rest of her industry hacks inside the White House and in the corrupt GOP congressional leadership intentionally ignore.

Steve :: 11:17 AM :: Comments (5) :: Digg It!