Medicare Part D: Not So-Conventional Wisdom
So it shouldn't be news to anyone's eyes 'round here, but we have our 341st failure of Republican leadership, Medicare Part D a.k.a. "How to make Health Care Costs Skyrocket and blame it on the Democrats <- (Warning Possible Lieberman attack point).
Republicans whip some Democrats to vote for a plan to benefit only the Health Care Industry at the cost of usurping our Senrior citizens, the "Greatest Generation," of their vital life sustaining chemicals.
Glibbly, they smile, already co-opting the media into muddying up Democrats with the Abramoff rag, dusting off their shoulders in the process.
Anyway, I digress. So it seems that every story you hear that is negative about Medicare Part D, is followed by commentary by none other than Scotti Doo's Broski. Commentary which always concludes with something to the effect that "Medicare is filling 1 million prescriptions daily." (Cue the Canned Applause) YEAY! *whistle*
So how does 1 million prescriptions fare in today's Medicare? Does it fulfill the demand? Or is it like Oil, where a handful of people seem to have their own version of "supply and demand."
(Hache Tchip to Xpatriated Texan for the research.)
Assuming 1 million Rx per day is the same as 30 million a month. According to conventional wisdom (and Kaiser), there are about 42 million people on Medicare. If :
"Of 42.5 million people who are eligible, only 25 percent were enrolled as of Jan. 1," Jones said Monday. "But 90 percent of the 25 percent were people who were automatically enrolled by the government."
That means of the 42.5 million elligible (which is everyone on Medicare BTW), only 25% are enrolled. That is about 10.6 million people that are currently signed up to get vital-life-sustaining-chemicals.
So how many prescriptions do these 10.6 million folks need on the daily, and is "1 million" enough?
Take Delaware, where Medicare folks need between 3 and 5 prescriptions a month. So that makes 30 million a month a minimum requirement (by taking Delaware's figures), where 50 million is the maximum. Remember, they are filling 30 million a month to all 50 states. OK let's see how many vital-life-sustaining-chemical prescriptions do the 42 million Medicare folks?
42 million patients x 3 Rxs/month = 126 million Rx/month
42 million patients x 5 Rxs/month = 210 million Rx/month
Current supply? 30 million Rx/month.
30 days in a month, which is 24% of 126 million, or 4.2 million Rxs/day (oh how lovely, - 10% of all Medicare users). So, if 10% of all Medicare users were the only ones requiring only one vital-life-sustaining-chemicals a month. Medicare and Scotti Doo's Broski would have quite a hit on their hands.
30 days is 14% of 210 million, or 7 million Rxs/Day.
They are filling 1 million a day.
They at worse should be filling 4.2 million a day. At best, they should be 7 million a day. These figures, like all government figure based numbers, are CONSERVATIVE ESTIMATES.
If the Democratic party stands only to lose:
Then who the hell cares if we get to lose Republicans like:
Cornyn (R-TX) Craig (R-ID)
The program was worked perfectly fine before Republicans like Mike Ferguson, sabotaged it to pay back campaign contributors or "special interests." Where as now, its totally broken and is meeting the most minimum of conservative estimates of demand for only 25% of the people elligible. One has to wonder if the folks that write the scripts for elections ads are being paid overtime to come up with as many ways of explaining this one to their districts.
Congratulations America! Your Republican Majority just brought the grand total of people who do not have drug coverage to:
32 million excluded from Medicare part D + 42 million who didn't have health insurance before this boondoggle =
They can even do it as a Master Card commercial:
People who didn't have drug coverage BEFORE the Republicans took over Congress: 42 million
People who don't have drug coverage AFTER George Bush and the Republicans got reelected: 72 million
Co-0pting the government to increase your profit margins:
Thanks Republicans! And Big Pharma.
I hope the largest and most consistent turn-out voting block in the country, which happens to be disproportionately suffering the consequences of this bill, remember all this at the voting booths, this November.
How about some Katrinaesque coverage on this one folks?