Bush thinks he has a victory with this one. I kinda doubt it.
Analysts: Medicare Drug Costs Will Rise
WASHINGTON - Seniors will face annual increases in premiums and deductibles — and a growing gap in coverage — for the prescription drugs they buy under the new Medicare law, budget analysts say.
For example, the $250 annual deductible at the start of the program in 2006 is projected to rise to $445 by 2013.
The legislation that won final congressional approval Tuesday would allow seniors to buy coverage — at an estimated monthly premium of $35 — for their prescription drugs beginning in three years. After they agreed to the monthly premiums and paid their first $250 in pharmacy bills, the coverage would kick in, paying 75 percent of their bills between $250 and $2,250.
After that, there would be no further coverage until beneficiaries' drug bills for the year reached $5,100, leaving a gap of $2,850 that they would have to pay out of their own pockets. Above $5,100 the insurance would pick up roughly 95 percent of costs.
Those are the numbers supporters of the bill have used, with little mention that they would change in future years.
But after just one year, the Congressional Budget Office projects that seniors would see their $250 deductible and the $2,850 gap for which there is no coverage both jump 10 percent.
By 2013, the eighth year of the program, the deductible and the coverage gap are both projected to grow by 78 percent.
In other words, seniors would pay a $445 deductible and those with the largest drug bills would be entirely responsible for more than $5,000 in drug costs.