This doesn't convince that this isn't the worst thing the GOP Congress has done to the country's long-term health, but here it is. I included his links, but I omitted his excessive underlinings.
COMPETITION IN MEDICARE DRUG BENEFIT YIELDS MILLIONS IN SAVINGS FOR SENIORS
DEMOCRATS WHO ADVOCATED FAILURE LEFT BEWILDERED BY DRUG BENEFIT SAVINGS
August 17, 2006
This week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reported that robust competition within the Medicare prescription drug program is saving seniors and taxpayers millions. Premiums are much lower than Congress initially expected, and averaged just $24 per month, down from prior estimates of $37 per month. These savings are coming at a critical time for American families who are concerned about the rising cost of living and easing the burden on those people caring for an older parent or parents. According to CMS:
· Because strong competition is continuing in 2007, the Medicare drug benefit costs are coming down further. The "bids" by the prescription drug plans are 10 percent lower, on average in 2007 than 2006.
· The average premium in 2006 for the basic Medicare drug benefit is about $24. Last year, premiums were estimated to be about $37 per month on average - a difference of 35 percent. Because of Part D, seniors are saving an average of over $1,100 a year.
· The lower premium is the result of much slower-than-expected prescription drug cost growth in 2004 and 2005, strong competition among Medicare drug plans, and beneficiaries' tendency to choose plans that meet their specific needs rather than more expensive "one-size-fits-all" plans.
· Average Medicare Part D premiums are projected to increase by only 0.1 percent in 2007, based on current enrollment. These premiums are 40 percent lower than the roughly $40 premium predicted last year for 2007.
· Because the cost of drug coverage is lower in 2007 than had been predicted, the projected costs of Medicare Part D are likely to decline again.
Coping with the success of the new benefit that is saving seniors thousands hasn't been easy for Democrats. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and her Capitol Hill Democrats voted against the Medicare prescription drug benefit and openly advocated its failure at every step of the way. In fact, Pelosi has referred to the drug benefit as "corrupt" even as she readily acknowledged Democrats were urging seniors to sign up. It begs the question: How can Democrats embrace a program they voted against and want to dismantle?
Republicans worked hard to provide America's seniors with a prescription drug benefit that saves them significant money while providing them with greater access to life-saving medicines. And after months of success stories highlighting the millions of seniors reaping big savings, Nancy Pelosi's worst fear is now reality - the Democrats were wrong.
When will Nancy Pelosi admit she was wrong on Medicare "Part D"?