The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Medicare Drug Costs:
Liars and Other Government Figures

Feb 13, 2006

The Medicare drug prescription plan went into effect this January, pushed by the government as the solution to the lack of prescription coverage for older people. According to a government spokesperson at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, “Our analysis shows there have not been any significant price increases at all and pretty big savings.”

Consumers Union, a non-profit organization, put the lie to that claim. In a sampling it did in New York, Florida, Illinois, Texas and California, Consumers Union found that prices jumped an average of 5% in just the program’s first month.

As one part of the survey, Consumers Union checked on the price of five drugs commonly bought by seniors. In 38 medical plans in one state, New York, prices increased by $155.80 a year. This was the increase, not the total price of the drugs.

Apparently the government spokesman lives somewhere the rest of the U.S. population does not, a place where drug prices did not rise after January 1–maybe Canada!