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Friday, January 13, 2006


Why does the government have to advertise free drugs for oldsters?
The campaign's commercials are more fitting for the launch of a new retail product than for the start of a program aimed at alleviating poverty and subsidizing seniors. In any case, it is odd to see commercials trying to persuade people to sign up for a benefit that was sold to the taxpaying public as a necessary thing--a help to people too poor to afford their own health care. Welcome to the age of marketed entitlements, where the war on poverty is an ad war.
...
As if there is not enough incentive for private companies to publicize this windfall, the federal government is spending $300 million on its own campaign to get 28 million or so of the 42 million Americans on Medicare to sign up for drug coverage. (Most of the rest already have equivalent or better drug coverage.) You wouldn't think that it would be so hard to get Americans on fixed incomes to sign up for freebees. But apparently it is.

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