March 30, 2004

March 30, 2004 | WebMemo on Health Care

Bitter Pills #2: Presenting A Lesson In Buyer's Remorse -- D.C. Style

Ever look through your closet and ask, "What the heck was I thinking?"

You know what we're talking about: The pricey shoes you would die for a month ago but now wouldn't be caught dead in. Or that 10-gallon cowboy hat that looked great in San Antonio, but silly in your hometown of Philly.

This is called "buyer's remorse," and Washington lawmakers are having it with a Medicare prescription drug entitlement they voted for last fall. Many Republicans disliked the measure, but voted for it anyway because they were told it would win them more senior citizen votes in 2004 and cost "just" $400 billion over 10 years. But a recent Washington Post/ABC poll found that 53 percent of those surveyed said they trusted congressional Democrats to do a better job with Medicare. And new estimates put the bill's cost at $534 billion-maybe higher.

What the heck were lawmakers thinking? Who knows? Here's what Heritage Foundation experts were thinking when Congress was preparing to vote for this bill:

Time to Rethink the Disastrous Medicare Legislation (Nov. 17, 2003)

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

"Bitter Pills" is an occasional, but regular, feature from The Heritage Foundation on how the 2003 Medicare drug law is full of sickening "surprises" that have serious consequences for seniors and taxpayers. Of course, The Heritage Foundation isn't surprised at all. We diagnosed the problems long ago in our Medicare Maladies series. Both Medicare Maladies and Bitter Pills are available on heritage.org (if you can stomach them).

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