A Bitter Pill ... Or No Pill At All?
The bill was so irresponsible -- carrying a price tag of over half a trillion dollars despite its dubious benefits to Medicare recipients -- that twenty-five Republicans voted against it, despite unprecedented arm-twisting (including reports of outright bribery) by the GOP leadership. (The biggest benefits flow to major pharmaceutical companies, none of which is based in this District.)
Fast forward twenty-six months. The Act is now being phased in, and the results, so far, are as bad as critics predicted. As a result, Medicare recipients are being denied prescriptions, and a number of states, including Illinois, are being forced to pay for prescriptions to protect their citizens. (Illinois hopes it will be able eventually to obtain reimbursement from the federal government.)
Remind me, Mr. Johnson. Why was the Medicare Prescription Drug Act good for Illinois's seniors and its taxpayers?