medicarefinaldoc[1]

medicarefinaldoc[1] - Medicare Prescription Drug...

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Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act Analysis The Medicare Drug Prescription Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 stands as a landmark piece of legislation. When Medicare was added to the Social Security Act in 1965 as an entitlement program for senior citizens, it only provided insurance programs for the cost of hospital treatment and medical care. However it did not provide any form of coverage for the cost of prescription drugs for another 38 years even though it was just as well known at the time of Medicare’s adoption that prescription drugs were as essential for senior citizens as hospital and medical treatment were. The reason that this massive new entitlement program failed to provide this much needed coverage was because of the difference in nature in terms of how insurance applies to hospital and medical care compared to that of prescription drugs. The whole premise of insurance is that one is paying a regular premium so that if some sort of service is needed, with a cost that cannot be predicted; there need not be a concern about that cost because the insurance will cover whatever that cost is. This is why applying insurance for prescription drugs is somewhat contradictory to the nature of an insurance program; prescription drugs are often needed on a regular and recurring basis, and thus, the cost will often be known and the profitability that the insurance industry would otherwise be guaranteed is diminished, if not non-existent, even if that form of coverage is provided by the government. But as Medicare evolved over time, it became clear that, since it provided no coverage for prescription drugs, the costs for which were rising almost exponentially, seniors who relied on Medicare and had no form of income other than their personal savings and whatever social security provided, were now in a position where it was inevitable that they would need treatment for far more serious and costly
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medical problems than what it would have cost to keep them healthy by ensuring they had their necessary prescription drugs provided to them. The policy question then becomes a difficult one, because there are so many internal and external factors that compromise the implementation of such a program. By examining the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA) in terms its application to the policy cycle model, it becomes evident that, although this profound piece of legislation has succeeded in addressing the issue, the problems it gave rise to in its implementation as well as its structural flaws, demonstrate that, while Medicare has definitely evolved, it has not yet sufficiently adapted to the needs of the senior citizens it is intended to provide for. As a result, if significant steps are not taken to reform these legislative flaws, its costs will cripple not only the Medicare program, but our national budget and, subsequently, our national economic sustainability.
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This note was uploaded on 04/29/2008 for the course POLS 201 taught by Professor Archie-hudson during the Spring '08 term at CofC.

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medicarefinaldoc[1] - Medicare Prescription Drug...

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