22 November 2003

AARP Sellout

AARP members are lodging their dissatisfaction online in the wake of its leadership embracing a Republican-backed Medicare plan.

Columnist Paul Krugman chimes in with a good take on the matter:

...As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities points out, the bill will force millions of beneficiaries to pay more for drugs, thanks to a provision that cuts off supplemental aid from Medicaid. Poorer recipients may find previously affordable drugs moving out of reach.

That's only one of a number of anti-retiree measures tucked away in the bill. It contains several Trojan horse provisions that are clearly intended to undermine Medicare over time it will allow private insurers to cherry-pick healthy clients in selected cities, and it will heavily subsidize private plans competing with traditional Medicare. Meanwhile, the bill prohibits Medicare from using its bargaining power to cut drug prices; drug company stocks have soared since the bill's details became public.

Medicare bill winners, losers.