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Millions Not Joining Medicare Drug Plan
Washington Post ^ | Ceci Connolly

Posted on 02/21/2006 7:02:35 AM PST by AZRepublican

A $400 million campaign by the Bush administration to enroll low-income seniors in prescription drug coverage that would cost them just a few dollars per prescription has signed up 1.4 million people, a fraction of the 8 million eligible for the new coverage.

At this rate, by some calculations, the government is on track to spend about $250 for each person it enrolls, and even then it would have only 2 million poor senior citizens taking advantage of what is perhaps the most generous government benefit available today.

"It's a very, very good benefit," said Deane Beebe, whose organization, the Medicare Rights Center, has been critical of many aspects of the new Medicare drug program, called Part D. "It's probably the best thing about Medicare Part D, except that most people don't know about it or don't know how to apply for it or are not comfortable or capable of applying."

When Congress enacted the first-ever drug plan for Medicare's 42 million beneficiaries, it created a tiered system in which the poorest and sickest seniors pay the least. About 6 million elderly and disabled people were switched from state Medicaid programs to virtually free Medicare coverage. Retirees at the high end of the income scale have the option of purchasing a plan with standard out-of-pocket costs such as monthly premiums, deductibles and co-payments.

The group sandwiched in between -- those earning too much for Medicaid but less than $19,000 -- qualify for coverage with no premiums, no deductibles and co-payments of less than $5. Congress gave the Social Security Administration $500 million primarily to identify and enroll them.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: gop; medicare; medicaredrugplan; prescriptiondrugs; seniors; spending; spendinglikerats; votebuying; wastefulspending
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1 posted on 02/21/2006 7:02:37 AM PST by AZRepublican
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To: AZRepublican

You can lead a horse to water....


2 posted on 02/21/2006 7:11:08 AM PST by NRA1995 (If feminists are so smart, why do they need masturbation workshops?)
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To: AZRepublican
Congress gave the Social Security Administration $500 million primarily to identify and enroll them.

"It's probably the best thing about Medicare Part D, except that most people don't know about it or don't know how to apply for it or are not comfortable or capable of applying."

I think I figured out the problem...

3 posted on 02/21/2006 7:15:09 AM PST by Realism (Some believe that the facts-of-life are open to debate.....)
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To: AZRepublican

"....The group sandwiched in between -- those earning too much for Medicaid but less than $19,000 -- qualify for coverage with no premiums, no deductibles and co-payments of less than $5."

I can assure you that this is a false statement if it is (as it appears) supposed to be a representation of Medicare Part D Rx plan.......there is a monthly premium, a 250 deductible, and a 2250 dollar limit on the actual discount which is tabulated at absolute top-dollar retail for the purpose of reaching the 2250.


4 posted on 02/21/2006 7:16:59 AM PST by Vn_survivor_67-68
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To: Realism
most people don't know about it or don't know how to apply for it or are not comfortable or capable of applying."

It appears that most people just want to show up at the doctor's office, hospital, or pharmacy whenever they feel like it, get some service or prescription at little or no cost to them, and be on their merry way. Say what you will about whether or not the program is the right one in the first place, but there are just too many ways to find out about these benefits NOT to do something about it.

5 posted on 02/21/2006 7:20:18 AM PST by Lou L
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To: NRA1995

...but you can't make him take his Toprol XL.


6 posted on 02/21/2006 7:20:42 AM PST by Tennessee_Bob ("Those who "abjure" violence can only do so because others are committing violence on their behalf.")
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To: AZRepublican

My girlfriends Grandparents said they went on the Part D plan and the cost of their medications has increased dramatically. I'll need to remind them that they don't have to use Part D, unless you're stuck on it once you start.

I knew this was a bad plan from the beginning.


7 posted on 02/21/2006 7:23:56 AM PST by Tatze (I voted for John Kerry before I voted against him!)
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To: Vn_survivor_67-68
there is a monthly premium, a 250 deductible, and a 2250 dollar limit on the actual discount which is tabulated at absolute top-dollar retail for the purpose of reaching the 2250.

Sheez. The rules must have been written by the same people who write the tax code.

8 posted on 02/21/2006 7:26:02 AM PST by FlyVet (Dems: if you're going to dance on a casket, please have the decency to close the lid first.)
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To: AZRepublican

Republican President+Republican Congress=New Entitlement Program

New math.


9 posted on 02/21/2006 7:28:05 AM PST by RWE
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To: FlyVet

That's what my mom said. Too damn confusing.


10 posted on 02/21/2006 7:28:10 AM PST by ItsForTheChildren
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To: Vn_survivor_67-68

Actually, depending on the individuals LICS (low income subsidy), the statement is absolutely correct. Depending on the LICS, there can be a zero premium, zero deductible, and no true out-of-pocket limit. In otherwords, zero cost across the board.


11 posted on 02/21/2006 7:29:23 AM PST by Tennessee_Bob ("Those who "abjure" violence can only do so because others are committing violence on their behalf.")
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To: Lou L
It appears that most people just want to show up at the doctor's office, hospital, or pharmacy whenever they feel like it, get some service or prescription at little or no cost to them, and be on their merry way.

Sounds normal, I'm with them.

12 posted on 02/21/2006 7:31:41 AM PST by Realism (Some believe that the facts-of-life are open to debate.....)
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To: FlyVet

It's a medical plan written by lawyers.


13 posted on 02/21/2006 7:31:55 AM PST by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: Realism

Unfortunately, you want the medicine to work. That requires research which costs money. And if it doesn't work, the lawyers suck more money from the system.


14 posted on 02/21/2006 7:32:49 AM PST by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: Lou L
Agreed. For the past six months AT LEAST, you can't turn on the tv or radio without hearing about the drug plan. Then, when January 1 rolled around, the seniors (supposedly) and the politicians whined about not knowing anything about it.

Here in California, Arnold designated 15 million to help out until things got sorted out. Seniors were complaining every which way according to the news. I don't like it that we even HAVE this program, but its here and there is no reason why people should be confused.

I did the research, signed my mother up for a plan...her drugs are waaaaaya cheaper (thanks to the taxpayers) and we also have coverage after the 2250 is reached.

15 posted on 02/21/2006 7:33:21 AM PST by Watershed
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To: AZRepublican
I can understand why.

I joined. What a nightmare, not only for me, but for my Doctor and the Pharmacy.

There are 2 of the five meds that I have to take everyday that the drug plan doesn't want to cover, and they don't have a genetic brand, so my doctor has to call in every month to clear these meds for me. Then when I go to the Pharmacy to have them filled, they have to call the med plan and make sure that my doctor has been given approval to prescribe these 2 meds for me.

The drug plans are all the same, there are meds they will cover, there are meds they won't, there are meds that they offer genetic brands for and some they have to have the Doctor call in to get approval.

Its the worst thing I have ever seen, along the lines of Missus Clinton's nightmare, and I'm not to sure if her and whoever thought up this nightmare didn't plan this thing.
16 posted on 02/21/2006 7:34:56 AM PST by HarleyLady27 (My ? to libs: "Do they ever shut up on your planet?" "Grow your own DOPE: Plant a LIB!")
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To: FlyVet

It took my wife several hours to figure it out for my mother. And my wife has worked with insurance/human resources for 15 years. There is no way my 78 year old mother could figure it out.


17 posted on 02/21/2006 7:35:44 AM PST by cpanter
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To: Tatze

"....they don't have to use Part D, unless you're stuck on it once you start."

Thats the secret.....they are under NO obligation to get all of their meds thru the Part D provider.....this plan is useful only if someone actively manages it.

My revelation led me to decide to buy my Mothers generics as a straight-up walk-in at a local pharmacy, using only her AARP discount card........and to use the "Plan D" pr