What A Surprise: Robert Pear Does A Hit Job on the Medicare Drug Benefit

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  • 06/12/2006

From the Kaiser Foundation’s daily dose of depressing news about how health care in America generally sucks, this time another piece about how horribly the Medicare drug benefit is mistreating seniors and — above all - the poor, poor pharmacists from the mind of Robert Pear: “The New York Times on Sunday examined the effects of the Medicare drug benefit on beneficiaries, pharmacists and doctors in McAllen, Texas, a town near the Mexican border in the Rio Grande Valley. According to the Times, beneficiaries in the town are “hav[ing] difficulty getting the drugs they need,” and pharmacists and doctors “are struggling to figure out which drugs are covered by which plans.” In addition, pharmacists are “swamped with questions and complaints from beneficiaries” and “have run into many practical problems as they try to navigate a complex program administered by dozens of prescription drug plans, each with its own policies and procedures,” the Times reports (Pear, New York Times, 6/11).

Yes Robert, and somehow 90 percent of all seniors have managed to navigate this “complex program” as easily as you have been able to navigate around their successes. Perhaps you could write an article about you go about avoiding writing about their stories for so damn long without including the words clueless or bias…


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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