Bipartisan Prescription Drug Plan Represents Best of Both Worlds

Published June 9, 2003

Chicago, IL – According to The Heartland Institute, a national free-market think tank based in Chicago, Illinois, the recent bipartisan agreement reached by several key U.S. Senators on drug benefits for senior citizens combines the best of what the government can do with the best of what the private sector can do.

The deal has been called a breakthrough by the Senators who arranged it. The plan, announced by Sens. Charles Grassley R-Iowa) and Max Baucus (D-Montana), would allow senior citizens to receive health benefits from private-sector health care plans that meet government requirements or to remain in Medicare and add prescription drug coverage. This would effectively open up the huge medical coverage program to competition, which Republicans say would reduce costs for individuals and the government.

According to Conrad Meier, Senior Fellow in health policy for The Heartland Institute and managing editor of its monthly publication Health Care News, “This plan offers the best of what the government can do with the best of what the private sector can do. While it may not be the approach suggested by The White House, the bill coming out of committee assures our senior citizens they will have reliable coverage for the cost of prescription drugs, without being forced to change from their current Medicare plan.”

“Breaking through tough ideological differences on this issue is a welcome sign there can be reasonable compromises among reasonable people,” Meier adds.

Meier can be reached for further commentary on this issue by contacting Heartland Public Affairs Director Greg Lackner at 312/377-400, 773/489-6447 (evening), or [email protected].

For more Heartland material on health care, subscribe to Heartland’s monthly publication Health Care News, or visit the Health Care Issue Suite on The Heartland Institute Web site at