Celebrating Pork: The Dubious Success of the Medicare Drug Benefit

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March 2007, Dean Baker

Projected costs for Medicare Part D have been revised downward, causing some analysts to claim that the program has proven itself a success. This report explores the factors behind the lower cost projections and reaches far different conclusions.  It finds two main reasons: 1) a slowdown in the rate of growth in drug prices that preceded the introduction of the benefit; and 2) fewer people are expected to enroll in the program. The report recommends changes to the program that could save $30 billion a year.

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