Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Success Of The Year

No, it is not the Iraqi election, as it is way to early to tell just exactly how long that will last, if at all. Nor do I really care. As one person who is sick of American meddling in foreign affairs, and who feels that America shoud take care of Americans first-and, by the way, second, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, etc., etc., etc-I feel in dire need of medication every time I hear thenauseating news that reminds me yet again of how we have remained so entangled in foreign problems to the detriment of caring for our own.

Hopefuly, if htis does not change, there will come a time when I can acquire the medication prescribed for nausea, and al ther as wel, at a fraction of the cost that it currently is. And for once, I actuallyhave to thank none other than-George W. Bush.

Yes, for my award of success of the year, I am referring to none other than the Prescription Drug Benefit which is this year in the process of being implemented. Finally, those seniors who are o limited incomes will pay far less than they have previously been forced to pay for their medications. In some cases they may have to pay nothing at all. How could this not be appreciated, epecially i view of the fact that way to0 many seniors have had to juggle so may different expenses that at times they have been faced witht he choice of going withut food, or going without needed medication.

Yes, I know it is a boondoggle. Yes, I know it is a massive government entitlement that wil doubtless get more expensive with time. Yes, I understand that it will doubltess be a cumbersome bureaucracie ripe with red tape and countless other problems. And finally, of course I am aware that it is going to add to the budget deficit, and the national debt, if not eventually addig a tax burden on the middle class.

On the other hand, it is something. For years, the Democratic party has bitched and moaned about medical care reform and the need for prescription drug venefits, yada,yada, yada, while all the time they knew they would never get it passed through the Congress, past all the Republicans and conservative Democrats. It was a sure fire vote getter for them from their individual constituencies, one they knew they could count on without really having to worry about delivering on it.

Then Bush and the Republicans came along, snathched away this issue, co-opted it right out from under them, and actualy did something about. It was one of the few, maybe the only instance, of pure political genius on the part of George Bush, though Karl Roves fingerprints can probably be found on the panties. He paid off a liyal constituencie, the pharmaceutical industry, in a way that went beyong their wildest dreams, and did so in a way that sought clevcerly to peel away appreciable layers of Democratic support among the elderly.

Most importantly, for all it's problems, despite the potential cuts it could face from a Congress desperate to establish some semblance of fiscal sanity (unfortunately, again, on the backs of the poor), this is a program that will actually help the people who most need help. The poor, infirm, aged senior citizens who may now actually have a chance for peace, who now may have some hope for a bit more of a comfortable, even a semi-healthy, lifestyle.

It will need some tinkering, I am sure, over the years. There will need to be improvements made. But at least it is a start, finally, at solving a problem, a new beginning that has been long overdue.

1 comment:

life's tragedy said...

You haven't examined this drug benefit yet, have you? What you save on medication you'll more than make up on lawyer and accountant fees. Each of these drug plans is a giant donut of which you, the recipient, eat the hole.