Your article on "Why Seniors like Part D" performed an important service. The news is awash with claims that seniors are unhappy with new Medicare drug benefit. But as your story pointed out, the silent majority of enrollees are overwhelmingly satisfied with the new benefit and many are saving hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars.
A survey by America's Health Insurance Plans found that 84 percent of seniors enrolled had no trouble signing up or using their benefit. Only 3 percent of seniors polled had trouble enrolling. Most seniors — 85 percent — have experienced no problems using their new benefits, and 59 percent already are saving money.
Government programs aren't normally known for their high satisfaction rates, but the new Medicare drug benefit isn't your typical government program. It's revolutionary in its combination of private-sector competition and public spending. Private insurers competing for seniors' business have generated some great deals. Some prescription drug plans, for example, cost as little as $5 a month. Others eliminate the $250 deductible before coverage kicks in — so seniors are covered from the very first dollar they spend.
Competition has kept down drug prices while maximizing the choice of available drugs for seniors. That's why so many seniors have quietly embraced the program.
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