Interesting article in the WaPo about the impact of the donut hole in Part D on the Senior vote. I think it will matter, it will hurt the Republicans and the signs seems to be point that way in one House race in Florida. Of course whether it will matter enough to push the House over to the Democrats is another matter. But the most interesting stat in the article is buried on the second page.
Perhaps playing in Klein’s benefit: More seniors are finding themselves
in the doughnut hole as the election approaches. The Institute for
America’s Future, a group calling for the closure of the gap,
calculated that, on average, seniors who enrolled in the benefit at the
beginning of the year would have fallen into the doughnut hole on Sept.
So this problem will get worse all the way up to election day, and the greed fest known as the Medicare Modernization Act (of which to be fair the greed of big Pharma was only one small part) may play a factor. And if it does, the obvious change that the Democrats would now put in the bill would be negotiated pricing.
That was not what Pharma wants, but of course it’s a maybe and the CEOs of big Pharma who pushed the bill through are leaving their posts and leaving the potential consequences to their successors. My guess is that those successors will wise up and figure out how to cut a more reasonable deal so that they are not so squarely in the gun sights when the nation has a real debate about health care costs in a few more years.