Thursday, November 17, 2005

Medi-mess (stolen from Kate Steadman)

The new medicare prescription benefit program may turn out to be a collection of private monopolies.

At Healthy Policy, Kate Steadman provides an excellent overview of the new Medicare drug benefit. She calls it Medi-mess. The program is so complex that seniors will have a hard time to figure out, which option to choose.

Most troubling is the fact that the various plans only cover a selection of drugs and are only accepted at some drug stores.

That means that there may not be much competition. Goods are defined at a time and a place. If the plans do not offer the same drugs then they are not competitors. If the plans are not available at the same pharmacies then they are not really competing.

When Bush has to choose between markets and big business, he always picks big business. Thus he manages to privatize the profits, socialize the costs, and confuse the seniors.

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