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Disclaimer: The author of this site maintained the campaign weblog of John Kline's opponent in the 2006 election, which made Congressman Kline a bit testy.

As with all blogs, review the facts carefully and draw your own conclusions.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Doughnut Hole Day

[Disclaimer: This post was first published on Coleen Rowley's campaign weblog.]

Congressional Democrats dubbed last Friday "Doughnut Hole Day", holding it up as the day the typical Medicare beneficiary fell into the "doughnut hole" --- the point at which they must assume responsibility of 100% of their prescription drug costs. The doughnut hole is a novel feature of Medicare reform legislation passed in 2003, which took effect on January 1 of this year.

The Washington Post recently discussed Medicare's doughnut hole, and told the story of several people, including at least one woman battling breast cancer, who are choosing to stop taking necessary medication because they can't afford it. According to the Post, roughly 3 million Medicare recipients will find themselves in this situation this year.

The Post also claims that most beneficiaries are better off with the new Medicare plan than they were with the old. While that may be true, the Post fails to point out that, since the new plan explicitly prohibits Medicare from using its considerable buying power to lower prescription drug costs, these drugs cost roughly 40% more than they would otherwise. Consequently, more seniors are falling into the doughnut hole sooner than they would if the free-market Republicans in Congress had actually let market forces prevail.

In fact, the the Medicare bill is a marvelous case study in how official corruption in Washington has direct consequences on the everyday lives of Americans. If you haven't read our four-part series on this bill, take an hour and do it now.

  1. The Chamber of Commerce and its support for Kline and Kennedy.
  2. The worst piece of legislation ever enacted.
  3. The Republican culture of corruption in microcosm.
  4. John Kline's bold stand and subsequent crumbling.

This dreadful piece of legislation, together with the ever-increasing urgent need to care for our veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, are just two of the reasons why Coleen will work for universal health care when she's in Congress.


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