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February 11, 2006

Medicare Prescription Drug Glitch

-- by Gary Boatwright

An excellent column from Michael Hiltik on Tuesday describes how hopelessly confused Bush's medicare prescription drug plan is for America's seniors. Glitch Adds to Medicare Drug Plan Confusion:

Peculiarities and complexities that render it almost useless for millions of potential beneficiaries. The most serious drawback is the one that snagged me: While the program bases its calculations of prescription costs on a "30-day supply" of each drug, for those taken orally it assumes that a 30-day supply is 30 pills.

But many medications aren't taken once a day. Unless the user manually overrides the 30-pill default, the result can be wildly misleading.

Hiltzik is a tad more blunt at his Golden State Blog

--HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt's one-month progress report on the drug plan. This is a terrific example of the Bush Administration's Potemkin village approach to dealing with crises: Pretend it's someone else's fault or an act of God, and claim to be doing your level best while you turn everything you touch into crap

Posted by Gary Boatwright at February 11, 2006 9:08 AM

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Comments

The LA Times has a story this morning on seizures of Canadian medicines shipped to seniors by US Customs. But they buried the real meat of their own story as I've just tried to point out.

I love it that you can trust business media to give you the facts more than most parts of the press -- but they also reliably bury the implications of many of the same facts.

Posted by: janinsanfran at February 11, 2006 2:39 PM

According to Hillary Clinton, only 3 million people in NYS actually bought into the new system, with only 110,000 of them in NYC, a city of 8 million. Not only are people waiting to see what happens, but many are convinced it will cost them more to join than they could save. Those who are really totally trapped are those in Medicaid, who were randomly assigned to various programs, whether the formularies contain the medications they have to take or not. Their doctors are in a huge snit, because to file for an exception for a drug a patient has to have that isn't in the formulary to which they are assigned can require filling out a 14 page form, an incredible waste of time. This is especially bad for mental health patients who rely on medications to keep them from becoming psychotic. Many of them are on /SSI and Medicaid because they haven't been able to work, and waiting weeks for their medications is downright dangerous.

Posted by: MJ at February 11, 2006 2:54 PM

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