PHARMA/POLICY: One estimate of what Part D is wasting, with UPDATE

Dean Baker working under the auspices of the liberal Campaign for America’s Future has written a study of what is being wasted on Part D. His number is $80 billion a year!. Given that the whole program was originally supposed to cost less than $50 billion a year that’s quite some number! The number he’s calculated is (I think) the difference between what the government will pay now and what it would have paid if it was negotiating for the drugs at the VA rate, plus the amount the CBO says CMS is spending on private administration of the project above what it would have cost to simply add one sole plan to Medicare.

Whether or not this analysis is fair, the Dems are nuts if they don’t get a great sound bite out of this.

UPDATE: Of course one Dem, Henry Waxman, is watching.