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Celebrating Pork: The Dubious Success of the Medicare Drug Benefit Health Insurance for the Elderly


  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Dean Baker, 2007. "Celebrating Pork: The Dubious Success of the Medicare Drug Benefit Health Insurance for the Elderly," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2007-08, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
  • Handle: RePEc:epo:papers:2007-08

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dean Baker, 2007. "Stagnation in the Drug Development Process: Are Patents the Problem?," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2007-07, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
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    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • L12 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Monopoly; Monopolization Strategies
    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation

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