Focus Point - A Real Prescription Drug Plan

Commentary by Pete du Pont

I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. Before Bill Clinton spends billions on his prescription drug program, somebody mail him a new study from the NCPA.

The findings? Older Americans could have access to full prescription drug coverage at no additional cost to the government, if they could combine Medicare funds with the money they currently spend on private insurance.

Up to 360,000 Medicare beneficiaries face medical expenses in excess of $5,000 annually. So, why not let them buy private insurance to cover this. Maybe through a former employer.

Medicare will spend about $5,800 on each beneficiary this year. The most popular Medigap policy costs about $1,611. If beneficiaries were allowed to combine the two, the sum would pay for a range of health insurance options. This amount plus another $153 out of pocket, could pay premiums for an HMO that included prescription drugs.

Moving to a private plan would provide coverage for prescription drugs and save money for the beneficiary. What's wrong with that?

Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont, and I'll see you next time.

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