A St. Louis University professor says a decision made before negotiations on the Medicare bill even began made for some interesting legislation. Tim McBride specializes in health management and policy. He says the $400-Billion cap Congress agreed to forced negotiators to cut corners in strange places, such as when they created the so-called donut hole in the bill – a gap between $2,250 in drug expenditures and $5,000 in which no coverage is provided. McBride doesn’t believe the bill will sell nearly as well outside Washington as supporters insist. He notes the bill will cover only half the drug costs for some senior citizens and will force others to pay as much as 70 percent of their drug costs. He also points out about a quarter of the money won’t even go toward prescription drugs, but will flow to doctors, hospitals and HMOs.
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