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I feel bad about the current status of prescription drug coverage for seniors in Washington, but the issue is far more complex than simply giving seniors insurance or regulating pharmas.

Point 1. The greying of america (boomers) will continue to shift the burden of paying for goverment sponsored senior care to fewer and fewer people.

Point 2. Quality of life needs to be somewhere in this bill. My wife works in nursing homes, mostly with folks too sick to ever go back home. Many have a good quality of life, but others don't know where they are, and are basically un repsonive due to stroke or debilating illness. We can prolong life, but at what cost?

Point 3. Medicine itself is partially to blame for escalating drug costs. We tend to over prescribe, and prescribe the newest, best promoted drugs on the market.

Point 4. The economics of drug development and meeting regulatory guidlines are also to blame for spiralling costs. Drugs have side effects: patient need for theraputic benefit should be weighed againist possiblity of side-effects. We won't ever be able to make a 100% safe drug, nor legislate it, nor sue for it.


Hope you'll all consider those ideas when think about or debating prescription drug coverage for seniors.

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