Prescription drug plan

Can’t find a thread on this, so I thought I’d start one.

There’s a big push endorsed by Bush to get a free prescription drug plan in place.

To me, this looks like a free giveaway for votes. It appears to be a case of Bush trying to buy into the elderly voting blocks, and maybe some centrists.

It really doesn’t fit well with my idea of good government.

I have seen no means testing, just another transfer from working folk to retired folk regardless of their relative financial wherewithal.

I think the starting estimate is 400 billion dollars. Just another entitlement in the gimme grab. Hardly fits with my idea of smaller, less intrusive government. Hardly fits with my idea of personal responsibility and self-reliance.

I didn’t like this kind of thing when the Clintons were proposing it, and I don’t like it now.

I was under the impression that there was already a prescription drug plan for poor people. Do we really need one for people who aren’t poor? Why not make the one for poor people better and tell the people who can take care of themselves to take care of themselves.

Thoughts?

Thats $400 billion over 10 years though, $40 b a year. Either way, i am for it. Redistribution for the good of society is not an automatically bad thing imo.

It is basically a bribe taken from other people by force, i agree with that. Seniors are a large voting bloc and pandering to them will obtain votes for whatever party gets them waht they want.

Because when healthcare like that is free it costs less. Compared to other socalized nations we pay much more than them per person.

In addition to costing less it improves the health of people in general because people get much more prevenative care. When you have seniors that can’t pay for their drugs they end up in the emergency room and that cost is passed on to you.

Besides we really don’t have a prescription drug plan for the poor that is effective. Lots of people who cannot pay for healthcare are not covered by medicare.

It would be better if means testing was added, but well what do you expect from Bush? He would be more likely to exclude the poor than help them exclusively.

I don’t have health insurance and neither does my family (though I’m a college student as is my youngest brother, so I suppose we could probably buy some cheap that way, and I have access to the student clinic during the semester.) However, it doesn’t really matter to me, unless I take a spill and break something trying to retrieve a folf disc from the creek on the back 9. It does matter to older people, and yeah it does seem like trying to buy their votes.

What this radical redistribution of resources from the young to the old will do to society, as the Baby Boomers are all around retirement age now or close to it, could be devastating. My generation will be in our 20’s, young and productive, and with the Social Security “lockbox” nothing but a pipedream, we’re going to be facing higher taxes to support the elderly population. Add to this that the elderly population may be living longer than ever before thanks to modern medicine, and these extended medical benefits. I see on the horizon alot of resentment of the elderly by the young.

BTW, I find the response of some democrats to this program baffling. If you’re starving and ask for a loaf of bread, and somebody offers you half a loaf, you’d probably be grateful you got anything at all and walk away. It seems like the democrats are saying, “No, I don’t want half that loaf, I only want the whole loaf!” Nice soundbite for the cameras, standing tough on an issue, but not exactly a rational opposition. (Same for the tax cuts with the GOP… I want huge tax cuts, but if the huge ones aren’t going to pass, then take the moderate ones and consider that some tax cuts are better than none.)

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20030617/ts_nm/health_insurance_dc_1

This news article i just read plays into this topic.

Medicare does not pay for medication.

My mother is 90. She is not poor by any means, but when a room and services at an assisted care facility costs $2,500 a month, there is not enough left over to pay for medication. Even though she is moderately comfortable, I have known her to go without medication she needs.

And that doesn’t begin to address the needs of those who have not been as fortunate as my parents. These folks are from the great G.I. Generation. They can hardly be described as irresponsible! What do you think we should do when they have worked hard all of their lives and are ill and need our help? Kick them to the curb? Ship them to Canada where they can get reasonable health care and affordable medications?

No one should have to choose between money and food.

I am at the very beginning of the Baby Boomer generation and young people have every reason to be concerned about the costs of taking care of that generation. But what do you want us to do? Die because we may become an inconvenience for you?

How about some positive suggestions for making the situation better? I will start:

  1. Cut back on cooperate welfare.
  2. Stop income tax refunds.

**

I disagree. I believe that it is obvious that when the Government does something it tends to cost more. We the public still bear the cost whether we pay ourselves or through the government we support.

Furthermore, I do not believe that other countries with socialized medecine provide a good example. We are the prime innovator of new procedures, the prime creator of new drugs, not countries with socialized medicine. Therefore we bear the costs of R&D not them, so a comparison is not an apples to apples one.

Agreed. I would favor improving existing plans and implementing means testing rather than installing blanket means-blind coverage.

True. But we also have Medicaid. Why not improve those?

Zoe:

What would be wrong with means testing so that only those that could not afford their medication would be entitled to have the government pay for it?

I don’t understand why people who are fully able to pay for their own medications should be entitled to receive them free from the government.

I don’t see what rational role of government that fulfills.

To me, this looks like a free giveaway for votes. It appears to be a case of Bush trying to buy into the elderly voting blocks, and maybe some centrists.

I agree, and it’s gonna backfire. Why? Because the kind of people whose votes can be bought (senior citizens, for example --YEAH I said it, sue me) are the kind of people who demand more and more and more handouts. They don’t stay bought. Free meds this year, and if Bush is re-elected, their votes will still be up for grabs to the highest bidder in the middle of his second term.

My company just changed plans - and now we pay a $100 deductible prior to receiving drugs. The Dallas Morning News just ran a story on this issue a week ago – quoted someone saying “I just saw an ad on TV for (medicine X) – I don’t know if I need it, but I just might get some.” I’m paraphrasing.
I believe those that need medication should receive it – but buy generic if you can! If you can’t, then let’s address that immediately. We have a major health care crisis in the US (Hillary attempted to address the issue, and failed).

Isn’t Bushie trying to fix things so drugs will have a generic equivalent a lot sooner than they do now?

And doesn’t federal law require drugs to be substituted to generic if there’s an equivalent?

IANAP(harmacist) so I don’t know for sure.

This doesn’t make a damn bit of sense. All this will do is get everyone to take the minimum deduction from their pay. Plus, refunds are only for people who have paid more tax than they should have.

Plus, refunds are only for people who have paid more tax than they should have.

Not exactly. What about the bazillions of people who get earned income credits every year?

Oh, it’s much better than that. You see, a lot of the money goes directly to the pharm companies. This is in part an entitlement for drug companies, not just the elderly.

The fact remains: there is no crisis in drug coverage for seniors. Obviously, some are too poor to pay, but that’s true for every age group (and it’s more IMPORTANT for younger people, who don’t even have the assurance of a long life that the elderly already have gotten). Back when social security was started, there really was a huge problem of the elderly poor. But that problem is largely solved. And now todays senoirs are demanding that we give them the absolute best in medical technology for free: while they continue to spend more on seeing movies than they spend on prescriptions.

It’s not obvious. I can think of one situation that’s fairly relevant here: the government acting as an monopsony buyer to counteract a drug company’s monopoly seller: resulting in more social benefit all told.

We need a presecirption drug program for juniors. Juniors (age 0-18) are the poorest demographic group in the country. They generally have no source of income and must glom on to the health care insurance of someone odler than them to get any coverage at all. Anyone opposing this is a mean spirited person who wants to throw juniors out on the street to die. We must solve the crisis in junior health care in this country.

The prescription drug program is definately a huge step in the wrong direction for the country. I see it being like Social Security: a good idea that will be a disaster in terms of cost to the taxpayers. Also, once you start something like this, it can never be stopped. Who wants to be the politician that pulled the plug on the greatest generation?

Well right now we are paying for it one way or another. In most cases we simply pay for it when someone becomes so bad off that they have to go to the emergency room rather than earlier. Instead of being able to get those prescription drugs for free the old guy can get people to try to revive him out of his heart attack for free. The second option costs much more.

Now, how exactly do we bear the costs of R&D here? I mean think about it. When we make all these new things do we just let other countries have it for free? We benifit from our R&D because we sell it to foriegn countries. The only difference is that foriegn countries have barganing power with those companies and can get a cheap price whereas the average American consumer doesn’t.

Free drug coverage? I thought the Medicare premiums were going to be increased to help pay for this!

And I don’t know where anyone ever got the idea only older folks have to decide between drugs and other bills. My copay just went up to $35 per drug. I take five drugs. And, no, none of them are “feel better” drugs like anithistamines or even “if you take this you will have your heart attack at age 60 instead of age 50” like Lipitor and such. Nope, I need these to (a) stay alive and (b) hope to stay off dialysis - two types of insulin that I need to live and two types of asthma medications that I need to breathe and an ACE inhibitor to preserve my kidney function.

I just live through the allergies and migraines as best I can.

Yet, I still have to sometimes subsist on one type of insulin for a few weeks or buy a $15.00 Primatene inhaler until next payday. Or skip the ACE inhibitor for a month or two and pray for the best.

Not that I’m complaining or expect a free drug benefit - just pointing out what isn’t always so obvious.

I had a friend who had to choose, every month, whether she ate or got her drugs. And one of those drugs was Coumadin, which she would have died without, but when you’re on that you’re supposed to get regular blood tests. She couldn’t afford the tests most of the time.

She was on disability, and got a whole $10 in food stamps each month. SOMETHING’S gotta be done, but I’m damned if I know what.