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Remember The Medicare Part D Rollout?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on October 24, 2013

TPM reminds everyone of the following:

A few weeks into the launch of the most sweeping health care reform law in a generation, John Boehner declared that the implementation was a disaster.

“The implementation,” the Republican leader said, “has been horrendous. We’ve made it far more complicated than it should be.”

Boehner, of course, was talking about the rollout of the new Medicare prescription drug benefit — known as Part D — enacted in 2003 by President George W. Bush. He discussed the implementation woes during a Feb. 6, 2006 appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” on his fifth day as House majority leader.

But did he want to repeal the benefit? No. The future Speaker soberly acknowledged the problems but saw potential in the law and called for improving it. “The good news is that the competition that’s being created has lowered premiums significantly below where Congress thought they’d be when we put the bill together, so the competition side is good,” he said. “I think the implementation side continues to need to be improved.”

It was a rough time for the law’s proponents. The soft launch was “anything but smooth,” according to the Washington Post, marred by at least two delays along with other, deeper problems. Upon launch, the Bush administration admitted to receiving “tens of thousands of complaints by seniors, pharmacists and others” about implementation failures. Health and Human Services vowed to “fix every problem as quickly as possible.”

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