health care bill that passed November 2003 that was "effectively drafted by thousands of lobbyists" enables pharmaceutical companies to collect $30 billion in "windfall profits over the coming decade."
--lobbyists defeated proposals that required the government to use the buying power of 40 million Medicare patients to negotiate prices.
--Prevented less expensive identical drugs from Canada etc
While the bill has made prescription drugs more accessible "the cost to taxpayers has been 3.5 times the market value of those prescriptions, according to a study by the journal of Health Affairs."
the program started in 06 ...prices under Medicare private insurance plans for the top 10 medications shot up, and in 2006 the five largest drug firms notched a 45 percent spike in profits over the previous year."
This year the "total of Medicare and Medicate spending will probably account for nearly a quarter of all federal spending, and by 2016 it could rise to almost a third."
Mark Lange, "A Tumor at the Heart of Medicare," New York Times, March 31, 2009, A17.