The Rural Patriot

November 17, 2006

Medicare Part D News Items

Filed under: Bush Administration,Federal Government,Health Insurance,Medicare D — theruralpatriot @ 7:01 pm

Many Democratic campaign platforms included the promise to pass legislation that allows negotiation of Medicare Part D drug prices with pharmaceutical companies. Apparently, the Bush Administration still does not think that this is a good idea:

(more…)

Advertisements

November 5, 2006

Big Pharma and the Republicans

None of this will probably surprise you, but with the election two days away it’s important to review.

Drug companies use part of their profits to make sure that the very best people are elected to the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. To them, the very best people are Republicans.

Through September 2006 drug companies had given $8.7 million to political campaigns. If both Democrats and Republicans were equally good, those funds would be distributed evenly between the two parties. Democrats and Republicans are not equally good-Republicans are better. That’s why 69% of drug company contributions have gone to Republican candidates. (In fairness it must be noted that although Pfizer sent 67% of its contributions to Republicans before October, its most recent disclosures show that it has had some sort of epiphany and during October gave only 41% of its contributions to Republicans and 59% to Democrats. There is no logical explanation for this change of heart.)

(more…)

October 13, 2006

Medicare Privatization Report Released Today

Filed under: Federal Government,Health Insurance,Medicare D — theruralpatriot @ 6:08 pm

The group, Families USA, released their 16 page report: Medicare Privatization: Windfall for the Special Interests. They analyze the impact of the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA).

But now, nearly three years after passage of the MMA, the move to privatize Medicare has resulted in windfalls for the drug and insurance industries and huge costs to both taxpayers and beneficiaries.
(snip)
…This report analyzes three aspects of Medicare that were affected by the MMA: 1) payments to the private managed care plans that participate in the Medicare Advantage program; 2) special funding provided by Congress to promote regional Medicare PPOs; and 3) the cost implications of offering the new drug benefit through private plans rather than through the Medicare program. In all three areas, our analysis found that Medicare is overpaying the drug and insurance industries for products and services that Medicare could provide directly for far less. Overpayments to Medicare Advantage plans and regional PPOs could easily cost more than $60 billion over the next 10 years. Billions more will be spent on overpriced prescription drugs.

(more…)

September 20, 2006

Citizens’ Hearing on Health Care – Part 2

This past Saturday, September 16, a “Citizens’ Hearing on Health Care” was held at the Allegany-Limestone School.  Below the fold are my notes from the hearing.  Because of the length of the transcription, I have decided to post in two parts.

Testimonials were given so local legislators and candidates would hear first-hand accounts of how complicated and inequitable today’s health-care system is with bureaucratic layers that make it difficult to afford or access.

Those giving testimony told hearing panel members that health reform is critical. Furthermore, the U.S. needs to join other countries and provide a national single-payer health system that will cover everyone.

The hearing panel comprised: state Assemblyman Joe Giglio, R-Gowanda, of the 149th District; state Sen. Catharine Young, R-Olean, of the 57th District; Cattaraugus County Legislator Linda Witte, D-Olean, who’s running for the 149th Assembly District seat; and Eric Massa, a Democratic candidate in the 29th Congressional District. The elected officials and candidates agreed the health-care system needs substantial improvement and they supported many of the recommended changes.

Part 1 – Testimonials
Part 2 – Candidates’ Comments/Q&A

(more…)

September 19, 2006

Citizens’ Hearing on Health Care – Part 1

This past Saturday, September 16, a “Citizens’ Hearing on Health Care” was held at the Allegany-Limestone School.  Below the fold are my notes from the hearing.  Because of the length of the transcription, I have decided to post in two parts.

Testimonials were given so local legislators and candidates would hear first-hand accounts of how complicated and inequitable today’s health-care system is with bureaucratic layers that make it difficult to afford or access.

Those giving testimony told hearing panel members that health reform is critical. Furthermore, the U.S. needs to join other countries and provide a national single-payer health system that will cover everyone.

The hearing panel comprised: state Assemblyman Joe Giglio, R-Gowanda, of the 149th District; state Sen. Catharine Young, R-Olean, of the 57th District; Cattaraugus County Legislator Linda Witte, D-Olean, who’s running for the 149th Assembly District seat; and Eric Massa, a Democratic candidate in the 29th Congressional District. The elected officials and candidates agreed the health-care system needs substantial improvement and they supported many of the recommended changes.

Part 1 – Testimonials
Part 2 – Candidates’ Comments/Q&A

(more…)

July 27, 2006

Medicare Part D; The Costs, the Profits, and the Donut Hole

Filed under: Medicare D — theruralpatriot @ 8:41 am

When the new Medicare Part D perscription plan enrollment period started, there was confusion and frustration in signing up for the program. Now, the “donut hole” part of the plan is kicking in for many of the plan’s participants.

For all patients, Medicare covers 75 percent of the first $2,250 worth of drugs. But after that, coverage drops to zero — and doesn’t resume until the patient hits $5,100 in expenses. Then Medicare kicks in again, paying 95 percent of costs. But it’s this gap — of almost $3,000 — that many sick and disabled seniors call unaffordable.

(more…)

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.