Monday, February 14, 2005

"A landmark achievement in American health care."

New Donkey comments on Bush's threat to veto changes to the Medicare Rx drug bill fiasco here.

Meanwhile, as GOPers high-fived themselves for coming up with an approach to a hot-button issue that would stoke up health care industry donations while making seniors feel all warm and cuddly inside, the ink was barely dry before it became apparent old folks didn't much like it. Even the easy part--accepting a drug discount card--wasn't popular, even though millions of Medicare beneficiaries were signed up automatically. And as we get closer to the implementation of the full Rx drug program, with its steep premiums, skimpy coverage, and wildly complicated structure, it isn't likely to become the biggest senior sensation since Viagra (even if Viagra is, as reported, covered by the benefit).

He isn't kidding. My coworker at the Health Care advocacy organization last summer spent more than a week trying to database all the different discount cards that were available in the first days after the program commenced. She found it a nearly impossible task, with providers adding and dropping prescription coverage like mad. If I recall correctly, she eventually abandoned the effort to do it in any systematic way as just too complicated.

If a smart young 20-something woman can't figure out how to work the web site, how on earth is my grandma going to figure it out?


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