The American people want it, and the Congress is going to give it to them. Stand by for prescription-drug coverage under Medicare. The initial cost, we're told, will be about $40 billion a year. Look for $100 billion a year before you buy your next car.
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Step by step ... here is how it's going to work. Print this and save it for future reference. You will be able to show it to your children or grandchildren to help explain why the government is taking 60 percent of everything they earn.
TRENDING: Caught red-handed
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- Democrats propose a grand new spending program. Senior citizens are going to be able to use someone else's money to buy their prescription drugs. Senior citizens pledge their electoral support to Democrats as thanks.
- Republicans start chanting "me too!" and get on board with the free-drugs-for-old-folks plan, hoping that at least some of the wrinkled class will vote for them.
- Senior citizens spend an average of $650 a year on prescription drugs right now. As soon as the drug benefit is added to Medicare, the pharmaceutical companies will start marketing many more drugs to old folks. Every night, you'll see some wrinkled citizens romping on television while the announcer says; "Ask your doctor about Kurital."
- Seniors will rush off to their Medicare doctors and say "Tell me about Kurital." They'll insist on a prescription for Kurital, and any other drug they happen to see advertised, and many doctors will be all too willing to go along.
- The average yearly spending by seniors on prescription drugs will skyrocket from $650 a year to thousands of dollars a year.
- In short order, the projections for spending on the new prescription-drug benefit will have been left in the dust. What was sold to us as a $40 billion a year program will be costing well over $100 billion a year ... and going nowhere but up. Politicians and bureaucrats will start expressing their "concerns" and a fix will be demanded.
- The "fix" to rising spending on drugs for wrinkled class will be to put limits on what Medicare will pay for certain prescription drugs, just as Medicare has already put limits on what will be paid for certain medical services.
- Pharmaceutical companies will find that they aren't making any money on selling these drugs to seniors because of the Medicare price controls. In fact, they may find that they are actually losing money. To compensate for these lost profits the pharmaceutical companies will simply increase prices for these and other drugs to their non-Medicare patients.
- As the prices of prescription drugs for non-Medicare Americans go up, so will the price of health-insurance coverage. Insurance companies aren't going to suffer these increased costs without passing them off to the insured. Basically this is the same thing that has happened in many other areas of health care. Medicare institutes price controls, health-care providers make up the difference by charging other patients more, health-insurance companies raise premiums ... and so on.
- As prescription prices and health-insurance premiums increase for non-Medicare Americans, so will the demand for politicians to step in and do something. Politicians, always hungry for both votes and power, will be all-too-happy to oblige.
- Politicians will start demagoguing drug companies. They will be called "greedy" and will be accused of "profiteering" and "exploiting" the frail health of our precious senior citizens.
- After a short period of scare-mongering, the politicians will vote to institute price controls on the pharmaceutical companies. Politicians will tell us that they are doing this to reign in these greedy corporate monsters who are becoming obscenely rich on the backs of sick Americans.
- With price controls the earnings figures for pharmaceutical companies will go into the toilet.
- As earnings go down, pharmaceutical companies will have less and less to spend on research and development for new drugs. Research into ways to treat disease will slow down and, eventually, will become the province of government.
- Government will be the eventual beneficiary of this mess as the masses clamor for more and more government solutions to these problems that are perceived to be the fault of the private sector.
So, did that scenario upset you? Now I will tell you to forget you read it. Set it aside, for there's nothing you can do. The political vote-buying machinery is in motion. The fix is in. This massively expensive benefit program is a done deal. It's a precursor to the political inevitability of socialized medicine. Stay healthy.