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Study: Medicare fails seniors

February 13, 2009 by  

Medicare may not work for some seniors, according to a studyIn what may be seen as more evidence of the American healthcare system’s failures, a newly released study has shown that some senior citizens are forced to forgo prescription medications due to high costs.

The study conducted by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health found that beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare’s Part D – a prescription drug plan which covers only up to $2,250 in related expenses creating the so called ‘doughnut hole’ – were much less likely to use prescription drugs than their peers enrolled in Medicare through their employers.

"Our findings raise concerns about whether people with chronic illnesses who lack doughnut hole coverage are able to effectively manage their conditions," says the study’s lead author Dr Yuting Zhang, assistant professor of health economics at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.

He adds, "Without needed prescriptions, we could potentially see an increase in hospital and physician costs."

The authors suggest a policy change that would mandate the coverage of generic drugs beyond the $2,250 limit through a modest increase in initial prescription co-pays.

President Obama campaigned on the platform of reforming the healthcare system which has left some 40 million American’s without any health care coverage. The new stimulus package also contains provisions for $19 billion in spending on health IT.

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  • Muriel Mason

    Think I”ve found some thinkers I could get use to.First time to this web site and have gone to all detailed MORES
    onthis site.I’m a reader,history,and a conservative Christian.Oh yes I’m 88yrs old.You’ll hear from me from time to time……:>)

    • Bob Livingston

      Welcome Muriel… I’m looking forward to hearing more from you.


  • TeresaE

    My dad used to pay around $1000 for his many medicines. Expensive on a fixed (social security only) income, but doable.

    Now, social security sets his checks at just above ($280 to be exact) the limit for extra help for medicine. Result? He receives $15,600 a year in income, and has to pay out $5000 for insurance and medicines.

    30% of his income goes directly to the pharmaceutical & insurance giants and that is only if he does not get sick(er).

    Yet, America wants the same people that “fixed” prescriptions for seniors to “fix” health care for us all.

    Glad to see public education is such a resounding success. Good luck to us all.

  • Harry

    How about mediscare failing FICA payers? Where in the Constitution, that politicians take an oath to support, does it prescribe mediscare as a function of the central government, to be funded by FICA payers?
    High prescription costs exist because healthscare providers know that third party taxpayers, foot the bill.

  • lillian

    I would like to know exactly what provisions are being taken to deal with the abuses within the healthcare system?

  • SuzyQtoo

    Health care in America is a wreck. There are R.N. nurses though who are attempting to get universal coverage or single payer legislation passed. is the website. These nurses have seen the result of money driven hospitals and have been subject to overwhelming working conditions and unsafe patient situations. Nurses as advocates for patients are the only ones who can design a health care system that works for the benefit of the people and not the money makers. Join us as we fight corporate America our lively hood is at stake.

    • Mary

      Surely you jest! Since when does a union take care of anyone’s interest except their own. CNA does not speak for most nurses (or as you call them RN nurses, what kind of title is that?). CNA is interested in taking money from nurses to put into their coffers. Don’t insult our intelligence!! I, and many other nurses, will work hard to defeat the Obama, Pelosi, and Reid healthcare plans. Dont’ think for a minute all nurses subscribe to your union tactics. I’m sure the President was happy to have CNA reps by his side at his press conference, but I hope the people of the United States saw you for who you are. Be professional.

  • SuzyQtoo

    Certainly medicare part D has not been all that Americans had hoped. Not nearly providing all the help to seniors that was needed. That is why nurses involvement is important. Just because one does not like President Obama does not mean that we cannot use this opportunity to develop a healthcare care plan that would be beneficial to all. As a professional I believe that registered nurses R.N.’s can be instrumental in developing that plan. The nurses are a group along with physicians who are capable due to their lack of personal gain and their concern for the best interest of the patients could design the ultimate healthcare plan.

  • Shirly Nachtrieb

    Fantastic work! This information should be shared around the web


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