September 17, 2003

September 17, 2003 | WebMemo on Health Care

Medicare Malady #46: Four Views, One Verdict: This Is A Bad Idea

Other than the fact they're all newspapers, The Washington Post, the Fort Worth Star Telegram, the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times and the Mobile (Ala.) Register don't have much in common.

Except this: None of them are happy with proposals pending before Congress that would make prescription drugs an entitlement in Medicare. Here's what they've said this week:

The Washington Post: "Far from the 'major piece of reform' this bill is sometimes styled as being, this Medicare legislation contains yet another hodgepodge of half-measures that do little to cure the system's deeper ills or to cut its long-term costs. Is this really better than no bill at all?"

The Fort Worth Star Telegram: "Here's an example of the [fiscal] restraint that Washington must embrace: It should scrap plans to initiate a Medicare prescription drug benefit. The nation can't afford a new program costing $400 billion over 10 years."

The St. Petersburg Times: "…Congress is creating a monster that will be confusing to retirees and likely much more costly that its $400-billion price tag. ... And both [bills] have a gaping hole in coverage, which would make recipients pay $3,500 or more before catastrophic coverage kicks in."

The Mobile Register: "In short, it's unearned welfare for wealthy seniors, paid for by taxes taken from young workers and their children and even unborn grandchildren."

For more information or to receive an e-mail version of "Medicare Maladies," contact medicaremaladies@heritage.org or call Heritage Media Services at (202) 675-1761.

About the Author

Related Issues: Health Care