The Medicare overhaul legislation approved by the House and Senate last week has sparked heated debate across the country. The following is a sample of editorials and op-eds that express the trepidation of Medicare beneficiaries and concerned citizens. America is analyzing the impetus behind the bills passage and its effects on current and future generations.
Salt Lake City, Utah – Deseret News
Afterthoughts, December 1, 2003
“The Medicare prescription drug bill may be a hoax, a sham and a shell game, but it has the seal of approval of the AARP, whose leadership is obviously not elected.
“Some of the organization’s newest members have the distinction of being the only generation to have burned their draft cards and their AARP membership cards.”
Los Angeles, Calif. – Los Angeles Times
Prescription Drug Plan Betrays Senior Citizens, November 30, 2003, link unavailable
“Once again, the well-heeled vested interests got their way; the result is a sweetheart deal for the drug companies that represents a gigantic rip-off of our nation’s taxpayers. The Bush administration, the drug companies and AARP should all be ashamed of their complicity in ramming through this fatally flawed legislation.”
Allentown, Pa. – The Morning Call
AARP Was Wrong to Back Medicare Bill, November 28, 2003
“We all need to read between the lines and understand that in the long run, this plan will leave many seniors behind and may very well cost future generations, both financially as well as their own Medicare benefits.”
Atlanta, Ga. – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Medicare Drug Benefit Will Stick it to Taxpayers, November 26, 2003, link unavailable
“Forage under couch cushions. Break open the baby’s piggy bank. Empty your pockets. You’ll need every last cent to pay for the Medicare mayhem created by the U.S. Congress this week.
“The price of the disastrous new Medicare drug benefit, estimated by the Congressional Budget Office to eventually soar into the trillions, ranks among the worst fleecings of the U.S. citizenry by its elected officials.”
St. Louis, Mo. – St. Louis Post-Dispatch
A Bitter Pill, November 26, 2003
“So, to recap: Big pharmaceutical companies get exactly what they wanted in the bill. Insurance and managed care companies get a chance to make money. Hospitals and doctors get higher reimbursements. Corporations get more than they asked for. But for the millions of elderly and soon-to-be-elderly Americans who will get, at most, 22 percent of their drug bills covered over the next decade, it’s a bitter pill.”
Wichita, Kan. – The Wichita Eagle
SCARY; Drug Benefit Needed, But How to Pay For it?, November 26, 2003
“But what Medicare is costing today isn’t the big problem; it’s what happens once the baby boom generation starts retiring in 2011.
“Consider: The $395 billion price tag of the Medicare bill is only for the next 10 years. After that, as the demographic tidal wave of retirees begins to enter the system, the cost of the drug benefit will skyrocket.
“But for the most part, Congress just added an expensive new benefit without a long-term plan to pay for it. That’s scary.”
New York, N.Y. – Newsday
Medicine Show; Both the Medicare Prescription-drug Bill and the Process of Producing it are Bad News, November 25, 2003, link unavailable
“The congressional action on landmark Medicare prescription drug legislation in recent days was a classic illustration of a dominant political party using its muscle to add insult to injury.
“First the injury: It’s a bad bill. Elderly people desperate for government help to pay for medicines will be sorely disappointed by coverage that is meager, complicated and will leave them to the untender mercies of the insurance industry, which the bill lavishes with multi-billion-dollar subsidies.
“So that leaves the insult: A process tilted outrageously to favor passage.”