Notes on the Atrocities
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Wednesday, March 05, 2003  

Follow the Bouncing Quarter

In these troubled times of international chaos, there's a predictability about President Bush's domestic policy that's almost comforting. For every proposal coming out of the White House, there's always a single motive behind it: to benefit some coporate industry. Like searching for the "Nina" in an Al Hirschfeld illustration, searching for the special interest receiving a pay-out is a blogger's diversion.

The new Bush Medicare prescription reform? A twofer: drug companies AND insurance companies. (You wonder, does the White House gauge the elegance of its proposals by how many corporate interests they serve? Karl Rove and the geometry of kickbacks...) From the Post:

"Bush's proposal is vague on many points, including the terms for insurers. But Tricia Neuman, a vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation, said the plan would have to provide a windfall for the companies, "or too few would participate for the plan to work."

The analysts said drug companies also could be expected to reap huge profits under Bush's approach. More senior citizens would be able to afford prescriptions, and doctors could be expected to write more of them. And drug company executives fear that federal price controls on their products would be the result if a drug benefit were provided within Medicare.

Several administration officials said the drug and insurance businesses would profit from Bush's plan, which is estimated to cost $400 billion over 10 years."

But wait, that's not all. Karl's scored a trifecta!

If Bush's proposal were enacted, it could provide a high-profile benefit for industries that are reliable donors to Republican candidates and committees. The Center for Responsive Politics said that for the past two elections combined, pharmaceutical manufacturers gave $30 million to Republicans and $8 million to Democrats.

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posted by Jeff | 9:18 AM |
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