One out of five enrollees in Chimpy’s new Medicare drug program are paying more now than before this boondoggle was passed.
They’re paying more for their drugs, perhaps as little as $1 per prescription, but often thousands of dollars a year. Some buy on credit without knowing how they’ll pay it off. Others scrimp on food and utilities or rely on the charity of family and friends.
When things get really bad, they space out their pills or injections, risking medical setbacks. They lose weight or swell up or get nauseated. Some wind up in emergency rooms.
They are the people that Medicare’s new prescription-drug program has hurt, rather than helped. Most of the program’s beneficiaries have saved money since it began Jan. 1. But for others, perhaps about 20%, the much-heralded program has meant higher costs, and in some cases greater pain and more worry.
Before Medicare, 6.4 million of them had drug coverage through Medicaid. Others had state help or free drugs from drug companies. “They had good coverage before this program began,” says Ron Pollack of Families USA, a liberal health care advocacy group. Now, “there’s a sizeable group that is actually worse off.”