Healthcare reform

After a bitter fight, the huge healthcare bill was eventually passed with a largely partisan vote in a House and Senate controlled by one party and signed into law by a president of the same party. Before its passage, opponents claimed it was a sell-out to the pharmaceutical industry and to health insurance companies and would add hundreds of billions of dollars to the debt.

Polls consistently showed the law was unpopular to a majority of voters, even to those who would become its beneficiaries. The roll-out of the program was a disaster. People had long waits to access the program’s website and even more problems using it. Predictions for call center activity were underestimated and representatives often lacked requisite knowledge.

Many feared they would not get urgently needed services. So, to ease the problems beneficiaries were experiencing, the President unilaterally changed the law’s implementation without congressional approval on multiple occasions.

All that happened just 10 years ago when President George Bush’s Medicare Prescription Program, the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, was signed into law. Who could forget?

Tim Mannello


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