Looks like the Bush administration will have a harder time selling the Medicare drug benefit to the public than they had selling it to Congress in the first place. The New York Times reports (Officials’ Pitch for Drug Plan Meets Skeptics) that the marketing campaign is not faring well. The plan is confusing –details aren’t even available yet–, there are gaps in coverage, and not everyone trusts the government. As a result, many eligible people may decline to enroll.
The economics of the new program depend on the assumption that large numbers of relatively healthy people will enroll and pay premiums, to help defray the costs of those with high drug expenses. Insurers say the new program cannot survive if the only people who sign up are heavy users of prescription drugs.
There’s more than a little irony here as Republicans impose the same kind of wasteful Big Government welfare program they usually browbeat Democrats about.July 18, 2005