Re "Sweeping Medicare Changes OKd," Nov. 26: The Medicare prescription drug benefit bill contains major flaws that will threaten the Medicare program's future solvency. No one disputes the fact that Medicare beneficiaries should be entitled to prescription drug benefits. However, the version of the bill that passed both houses precludes the federal government from using its sizable bargaining power on behalf of millions of Medicare beneficiaries to negotiate discounts with the pharmaceutical companies. Runaway inflation in pharmaceutical costs is a major reason why health care in this country is pricing itself out of the market.
Once again, the well-heeled vested interests got their way; the result is a sweetheart deal for the drug companies that represents a gigantic rip-off of our nation's taxpayers. The Bush administration, the drug companies and AARP should all be ashamed of their complicity in ramming through this fatally flawed legislation.
Now that the Medicare drug bill has passed Congress, the details indicate that, in my case, I will be paying $1,170 of the first $2,000 spent on drugs. If my expenditures go to $4,850, my cost will be $4,020. Is there any question as to why I canceled my AARP membership?
Arthur H. Levin
Two words regarding the Medicare bill: Benedict AARP.
By stabbing us elder Californians in the back, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has ensured the death of her political aspirations. None too soon for this Republican in Democrat's clothing.
Channel Islands Harbor