Hard pill to swallow

The art of the possible
The landmark Medicare drug bill passed by Congress last month has something in it for almost everyone to complain about. Senator Edward Kennedy (D., Mass.), who led the Democratic opposition to the bill, thinks it moves too much toward privatization. It relies on private companies to implement the drug benefit, includes significant new fees for most people, and requires Medicare in some areas to compete with private health maintenance organizations. Kennedy, justifiably angry that most Democrats were shut out of the legislative process, termed the bill “the first step toward dismantling Medicare.”


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