Who Passed Medicare Part D and Why You Should Care

Joe Paduda

First posted 7/15/11 on Managed Care Matters

The Medicare drug program – Part D – was the largest expansion of entitlement programs since the Great Society.

And it was – and is – a Republican program. A political masterstroke, Part D undoubtedly helped George W Bush get re-elected along with many GOP legislators, as seniors loved the new program.

It was also completely unfunded; short term, long term, any term. The GOP decided to NOT set aside funds, or raise taxes, or cut other programs; they just passed Part D, committed to paying for it out of ‘general funds’ and to hell with the future.

Well, the future is here, and to listen to Eric Cantor, you’d think he had nothing to do with Part D.

The latest Medicare Actuary report indicates the GOP-passed Part D program has contributed $9.4 trillion to the $38 trillion Federal healthcare deficit. (page 126)

I bring this up not to anger my conservative readers, but rather to educate some who aren’t aware that Part D, and the costs of Part D, are the handiwork of Eric Cantor, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell et al.

Yep, the strident voices screaming for cost control were single-handedly responsible for a program that’s added $9.4 trillion to the ultimate deficit.

Here’s how one Libertarian sees the GOP legislators who voted for Part D.

“In particular, anyone who was in a position to vote on it, and voted for it, can simply never, ever be trusted to guard free enterprise or the Constitution against the ravages of Washington’s welfare state…Every single one of these folks, without exception, is in no position to criticize Obamacare or claim to want to beat back the tide of socialism that supposedly began only two years ago when Obama rose to power. Every single one of them voted to shovel tax dollars to the pharmaceutical industry and the wealthiest age demographic — the elderly — in unambiguous defiance of the Constitution, individual liberty, the free market, fiscal sanity and classical American values.”

Joe Paduda is a health care analyst blogging at Managed Care Matters.

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