Were it not for omissions and unsupported assertions, it would be heartening to read U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess’ praise of government-enacted healthcare plan. (See: “Medicare Part D is just good medicine,” Dec. 18) He omits the difficulties encountered in passing Medicare Part D, including threats to a congressman prepared to vote against it and threats to the Medicare actuary who wanted to reveal the program’s true costs.
It would be interesting to see any evidence that Part D decreased invasive procedures and overall medical costs. However, costs of Part D are less than estimated because of an increase use of generic drugs and because enrollment was less than expected. Costs could have been even lower if Medicare had been allowed to negotiate prices, as the Veteran Affairs department does. But this bit of the free market was too much for Republicans and their drug company allies.
While Burgess praises Medicare Part D’s alleged role in preventive care, he has not been so forthcoming with praise for true preventive care in the Affordable Care Act.
Although the Democrats believed that Part D was flawed, they were not obstructionists. I wish the same could be said for Burgess and the Republicans when it comes to the ACA.
— Franklin B. Gluck, M.D.,