From the Lansing State Journal:

The new Medicare prescription drug program is causing all sorts of problems in Michigan and nationwide… a solution…Rewrite the Medicare program now…

It is the opinion of the writer that there are three  flaws in Medicare D, specifially, the cost, the opinion that the program is too broad, and,

The program is a giveaway to pharmaceutical firms because Congress barred Medicare from negotiating deep discounts in drug prices – a practice used effectively in other government programs.

Now for the blame:

It could have been different, of course. A drug benefit targeted solely to the neediest…could be in operation now, had Congress not, instead, endorsed the existing, flawed law –thanks in large measure to mid-Michigan Congressmen Dave Camp, Vern Ehlers and Mike Rogers.

Results For Roll Call Vote on HR 669, Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, Modernization Act

And what about this conclusion?

Had these three Republicans voted the other way in 2003, the Medicare plan would have failed in the House. And America would now be much closer to real health reform.

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And now from the Detroit News

Medicare beneficiaries, pharmacists, health experts and members of Congress have complained about difficulty obtaining accurate beneficiary information and about inadequately staffed government telephone “help lines.”

Wonder where I’ve heard that before?

One problem tho.  Medicare’s lines?  You can’t get through.

So, instead of examining the flaws in Medicare D, here is the solution:

the number of operators on the telephone help lines for pharmacists has been increased from 150 on Jan. 1 to 4,500 and that individual case workers have been added to help solve specific problems.

Instead of leaving the pharmacy empty handed or having paid too much money for their drugs, Leavitt said beneficiaries should ask their pharmacist for help or call (800) MEDICARE and get help solving their specific problems.

No one I talked to on that 800 number knew wtf was going on.  Now, a new, untrained staff is going to magically solve all of the problems??


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