Since the program went into effect six weeks ago, more than 24 million people with Medicare now have prescription drug coverage, and hundreds of thousands more are enrolling each week. The competition in the prescription drug market has been stronger than expected and is lowering costs for taxpayers and seniors alike. This year, the Federal government will spend 20 percent less overall on the Medicare drug benefit than projected just last July. The average premium that seniors pay is a third less than had been expected -- just $25 per month, instead of $37 per month. And the typical senior will end up spending about half of what they used to spend on prescription drugs each year.Okay, but I have some questions for you W:
- How many millions of people were already enrolled in Medicare before your prescription drug retooling? In other words, why is the number 24 million a good thing?
- How do you know the competition is stronger? Where's the proof?
- Even though the monthly premium is 25 bucks as opposed to $ 37, if you don't get your drugs because you are confused by the program, are the costs still lower?
Secretary of Health and Human Services Mike Leavitt has traveled to 18 states in the past three weeks to meet with governors and make sure the prescription drug program is working for everyone, and we're making good progress. We're ensuring that drug plans have more up-to-date information on their beneficiaries, and we're improving data-sharing among Medicare, health plans, and the states. We have also extended the transition period from 30 days to 90 days, to guarantee that seniors do not go without the medicine they need as they switch to a new drug plan. We have also acted to ensure that phone calls to the Medicare help line are now answered with little or no waiting time, and we're working with insurers to help them do the same on their phone lines.If it's working so well, why has the State of California (and four others) lined up a law suit against the W, Rove and Co for this very program?
It would be fantastic if any bloggers out there can comment about the "success" of this program for them - that is, if you have been forced to enroll in this new program, what has the experience been like for you. Let's get some real people out there talking about their experiences other than the ones they cite in their speeches.
Blog on all.