Focus Point - Drugged Policy

Commentary by Pete du Pont

I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. Before the democrats -- and, it pains me to say it, republicans -- go crazy with prescription drug plans, let's look at a few numbers.

The Federal Government currently spends 35 percent of the entire budget on people over 65, primarily for social security and Medicare. As the population ages, Medicare as a percentage of GDP will go up, even with no additional burdens. A drug proposal plan along the Clinton-Gore lines would triple the program's present

The federal government currently spends 35 percent of the entire budget on people over 65, primarily for social security and Medicare. As the population ages, Medicare as a percentage of GDP will go up, even with no additional burdens. A drug proposal plan along the Clinton-Gore lines would triple the program's present hit on the GDP. Toss in an unreformed social security system and expanded Medicaid programs and the cost of federal programs for the elderly could go from 7 percent to 14 percent of GDP in 30 years.

And as economist Robert Samuelson has pointed out, it will actually be much worse, because estimates of ballooning drug costs stop at 2010 -- just as the oldest baby boomers qualify for medical care.

And for what? For a program we don't need that's driven by political pandering at is most debased.

Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time, the real facts on guns.