This proposal risks doing more harm than good for seniors, but perhaps even more troubling, it demonstrates that some in Congress have missed the fundamental lesson of Part D. That lesson is that when you identify a specific problem, build a competitive market that motivates the private sector to solve it, and provide incentives for consumers to make rational cost decisions, everyone wins.
These are the solutions that could—and should—be applied in the health reform package currently being considered in the Senate. We don't need more central planning. We don't need more government price-setting and mandated coverage levels.
There is very good reason to believe that patient-empowering solutions work better. One already does.