Medicare Plan Benefits Industry, Not Seniors

By Erin Cassin, The NewStandard

Recent research into the new Medicare Part D prescription-drug benefit program shows the pharmaceutical industry poised to reap billions in taxpayer funds under the new plan. The data lends new fuel to the fight led by seniors and their advocates to overhaul the program, which took effect January 1.

Under the design of the current scheme, private insurers -- not the Medicare administration -- provide coverage to enrollees, some of who previously received coverage under Medicaid and others who never had government-subsidized prescription drug coverage.

According to a January report by the progressive think tank Center for Economic Policy Research, the program's cost to state and federal taxpayers -- estimated at $776 billion for the next eight years -- and its notorious complexity are predictable symptoms of the legislation.