Politics

Obamacare Critics Won't Mention Pres. Bush's Medicare Drug Program Mess

| by Michael Allen

Ever since the Oct. 1 launch of the Obamacare website that funnels Americans to their local state health insurance exchanges, critics and opponents of the Affordable Health Care Act have trumpeted it as a failure.

There have been the expected glitches on HealthCare.gov, which have been magnified to over-dramatic proportions by conservative websites, conservative pundits and newspapers, all declaring Obamacare a failure and some even comparing it to slavery.

Forbes screamed the headline, “How Obamacare’s Exchanges Turned Into A ‘Third World Experience.’”

However, those critics don’t mention the disaster that began on Jan. 1, 2006, when President George W. Bush rolled out his new Medicare drug program.

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On Jan. 12, 2006, Philly.com reported, “Many of the most vulnerable elderly and disabled patients have been unable to get medicine since the program’s start on Jan. 1.”

Michael Campbell, executive director of the Pennsylvania Health Law Project, said, “There are breakdowns at every point, and there is no one there to fix them.”

Suzanne Esterman, a spokeswoman for the New Jersey Department of Human Services, added, “We saw by Friday that this was mushrooming into a bigger problem than we had imagined. We saw we had to step in and make sure no one would go without drugs.”

Jack Vogelsong, who ran Pennsylvania’s insurance information program, declared, “Our call volume this week is the highest it’s ever been. People are not getting what they were promised.”

“I’ve been a practicing pharmacist for 21 years, and this has been the worst two weeks of my life,” said Dave Ostrow in 2006.

However, even with all the problems, Democrats did not try to repeal or defund Bush’s Medicare drug program by refusing to approve the Continuing Resolution, which finances the federal government, as Republicans have done since Oct. 1 with Obamacare.

Sources: TalkingPointsMemo.com, Philly.com, MediaMatters.org, Watchdog.org, Forbes, HealthCare.gov, ReviewJournal.com