Brewtown Politico

Carrying a little stick and speaking loudly in Milwaukee


Lawmakers outraged at rising cost estimates for drug benefit

"Some House and Senate Democrats called for an investigation into the hard-fought battle to pass the legislation in November 2003, when the White House projected the cost at $400 billion over 10 years. An administration official later said he was pressured to keep higher long-term cost estimates hidden from lawmakers."

The cost of the new Medicare prescription drug benefit is now estimated to cost $724 billion in the first 10 years. The bill promoted by the Bush Administration and passed by Congress forbids Medicare from negotiating lower prices with pharmaceutical companies, something other government agencies like the VA are allowed to do.

The president responded by threatening to veto any changes Congress makes to the new Medicare law. Meanwhile, the pharmaceutical companies are set to rake in the dollars while the taxpayers get stuck with the bill.


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