Thursday, March 8, 2007

Part D Was “Financially Irresponsible”—The Medicare Part D Drug Plan Liability is Twice That of the Social Security System!

The passage of the Medicare prescription drug benefit—Part D—was a “financially irresponsible” thing to do. Those were the words of U.S. Comptroller General David Walker on CBS’ “60 Minutes" this past weekend.

Amen to that.

The Medicare Trustees, in May of 2006, reported that Medicare’s long-term debt is estimated to be $32.4 trillion dollars (over 75 years). The new Part D drug benefit is a quarter of that—$8 trillion.

This will blow you away: The Part D Medicare drug benefit’s long-term liability alone is almost twice as large as the entire long-term debt of the Social Security System!

President Bush spent a good part of his political capital two years ago trying to reform Social Security when his Medicare Part D drug program added twice the Social Security debt to the national balance sheet all by itself!!!

There is no doubt that seniors deserve good drug coverage inside Medicare. But they, and we, also deserve to see Medicare get the overhaul it will need to sustain the “baby boomer” retirements.

How “conservative” Republicans like George Bush and Tom DeLay could have forced this Part D program through and onto the nation’s troubled books is beyond me.
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