Americans United: A Fake Front Against the Drug Benefit

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  • 04/17/2006

“Americans United” is a labor and Democrat party funded front group and they are wrong on the facts to boot. Why is there no caveat about where they get their funding at the end of their editorial in today’s USA Today? (See below.)

The design of the drug plan is exactly the same as that designed by President Clinton and supported by Families USA and the Democrats in 1999. How do they explain being for the drug plan before being against it? As for officials not wanting you to know about the enrollment breakdown, it’s right there on the damn HHS website, press release, etc. You would have to be an idiot not to see it … or Brad Woodhouse.

Actually there were 11 million seniors that lacked drug coverage before the program and 8.3 million have voluntarily signed up. My math puts me at 75 percent and we are not at May 15. 70 percent have reaped savings. that’s another way of saying 30 percent have not yet. As for the donut hole, guess what, a large chunk of seniors won’t hit it and those that will have actually purchased coverage that fills it.

The stand alone plans are not perfect. I would like to see drugs used to prevent disease and reduce spending overall in that fashion and you might need integrated health plans for that. But to suggest that the plan is corrupt is baseless beyond belief and comical considering Americans United were going to stoke the fires of resentment about the plan according to Democrat memo….Worse, to propose price controls as a panacea is simply being reduced to having no other message. Forcing biotech firms most of whom have piled up hundreds of milions of dollars of losses to sell half their medicines sold worldwide at the VA price (40 percent below wholesale) will be possible without destroying innovation or denying seniors access to breakthrough medicines is either delusional or writing for Americans United or a labor front group..oh wait that’s the same thing.

17 April 2006 USA Today - By Brad Woodhouse

The Medicare prescription drug program is costly, confusing and corrupt, and it has left millions of Americans to conclude that President Bush and Congress designed the plan with pharmaceutical and health insurance companies in mind, not seniors.

Medicare Part D is so hopelessly flawed that the enrollment deadline of May 15 must be extended to give Congress time to fix this debacle.

The deadline also must be extended to give people more time to sign up without penalty. It would be immoral to penalize seniors and the disabled for their failure to sign up for a plan that should have never been this difficult and confusing in the first place.

The Bush Administration claims that roughly 29 million Americans of the 42 million who are eligible have enrolled. What officials don’t want you to know is that almost three-quarters of those enrolled — some 21 million Americans — were dumped into Part D automatically. Only about half of those eligible for Part D who can voluntarily enroll have done so.

The reasons are clear: cost and confusion. A recent Washington Post/ABC News poll found that more than one in every three Americans who have enrolled reported that they have realized no savings — and when many begin to fall into the infamous “doughnut hole,” that figure is sure to rise.

In addition, millions of Americans have been deterred from enrolling because of the maze of confusion that has been a staple of the prescription drug plan. With more than 500 plans nationally, each with different premiums, co-pays and formularies — all of which are subject to change — it is little wonder that so many have yet signed up.

The fatal flaw in this law is that it prohibits Medicare from negotiating with pharmaceutical companies for lower prices, and from eliminating confusion by offering a simple and affordable plan to seniors directly from Medicare. The deadline must be extended so more people can sign up and so Congress can fix Part D to make it simple, affordable and guaranteed.

Brad Woodhouse is communications director for Americans United, an advocacy organization based in Washington


Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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