Reasonable folks could argue that there is nothing worse than a bloated, inefficient, unnecessary entitlement program that no one really wants and that was created purely for political reasons. They would be wrong, because a bloated, inefficient, unnecessary entitlement program that no one really wants and that was created purely for political reasons and is inefficiently administered and disseminating inaccurate and incomplete information while allowing people to purchase drugs expressly forbidden by the legislation is worse:
Congressional investigators said Wednesday that they had found serious, widespread problems in a government program that issued drug discount cards to 6.4 million Medicare beneficiaries, as a precursor to the full-fledged drug benefit that takes effect next year.
The problems included inaccurate and incomplete information – disseminated by the government and insurance companies – and improper use of the discount cards to buy barbiturates and certain other drugs, explicitly forbidden by Congress.
The Bush administration had said the discount cards would cut retail prices of prescription drugs by 10 percent to 25 percent. But the investigators, from the Government Accountability Office, said Medicare officials could not document the savings because “there was a lack of reliable data” on the price concessions obtained from drug manufacturers and pharmacies.
So if you thought the Prescription Drug Plan was bad, hold on to your seats. It looks like it is going to get worse, and our ‘fiscal conservatives’ in Washington are just the guys to prove how bad a government program really can be.