Indiana was on track to becoming the first state to privatize the running of its welfare system, including Medicaid for the e...Read more
Is Bush Using Drug Benefit As Wedge to Privatize Medicare?
- March 5th, 2003
President Bush has unveiled his Medicare prescription drug proposal, which offers drug comprehensive coverage to elderly Americans, but only if they leave traditional Medicare and join managed care plans, according to articles in the New York Times.
Democrats immediately accused the administration of trying to herd Medicare beneficiaries into managed care in an effort to privatize one of the most popular government programs.
"The president talks about Medicare reform," said Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), " but those are code words. What he really wants to do is to privatize Medicare." Rep. John D. Dingell (D-Mich.) said the nation''s elderly would be consigned to "the tender mercies of an HMO."
Although Bush''s proposal is short on specifics, it would offer comprehensive drug benefits to Medicare beneficiaries in private plans, while those in the traditional Medicare program would receive only a drug discount card and protection against "high out-of-pocket prescription drug expenses," probably in the range of $,4000 to $7,000.
More than 85 percent of the 40 million Medicare beneficiaries are in the traditional fee-for-service program, which offers a free choice of doctors. Managed care plans do not.
Even some leading Republicans were critical of the plan. Three influential Republican lawmakers, Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine and Reps. Billy Tauzin of Louisiana and Jim Nussle of Iowa, said the Bush proposal did not guarantee adequate drug benefits for people in the traditional Medicare program.
"You couldn''t move my mother out of Medicare with a bulldozer," Rep. Tauzin said. "She trusts it, believes in it. It''s served her well."
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Needham Mitnick & Pollack, PLC
Susan Pollack served as Chairperson of the Falls Church Senior Citizens Commission from 1997 to 2011 and was on the Executive Board of the Falls Church Education Foundation. She has also served on the Board of Directors of the Alzheimer’s Association of the National Capital Area and is a member of the Arlington B...
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In practice since 1987, Fairfax Attorney Evan Farr is widely recognized as one of the leading Elder Law, Estate Planning, and Specials Needs attorneys in Virginia and one of foremost experts in the Country in the field of Medicaid Asset Protection and related Trusts. Evan Farr has been quoted or cited as an expert by n...