June 18, 2004

June 18, 2004 | WebMemo on Health Care

If It Might Succeed, Kill It

President Reagan once said government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: "If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it."

Today, big government proponents on Capitol Hill are revealing a similar view regarding Medicare reform: If it's likely to work, kill it. Some lawmakers are trying to sabotage a pilot program that would let private health plans compete with Medicare in offering coverage to seniors in six cities. At least 17 senators want to bar testing the approach in their own states, essentially killing the pilot program before it starts, The Washington Times reported June 8.

The program, slated to begin in 2010, is "one of the few bright spots" in the Medicare bill passed last year, says Heritage Foundation health care expert Robert Moffit. And, he charges, lawmakers who oppose it are acting with "profound hypocrisy." Why? Because the program is modeled after the same competitive health program used by all federal employees-including the 17 sabotaging senators. Read more about the pilot program and the new Medicare law here:

For more information or to receive an e-mail version of "Bitter Pills," contact chris.kennedy@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 ourMedicare Maladies series. Both Medicare Maladies and Bitter Pills are available on heritage.org (if you can stomach them).

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