One of the life rafts liberals are reaching for these days, in the midst of the disastrous rollout of the ObamaCare exchanges, is that the rollout of President Bush’s prescription drug plan was just as problematic.
That charge is silly and false.
People can go back and read contemporaneous accounts for themselves, but what they’ll find is that the open enrollment window was much shorter, it basically worked, and when benefits started there were only a few minor snags that got cleaned up in a matter of weeks. The Medicare prescription drug plan was nothing like the Affordable Care Act’s rolling disaster.
Now this needs to be added: The Medicare Part D rollout started with the huge advantage of an existing program, with existing and ongoing communications with the beneficiaries. Part D could be built on top of that infrastructure, which was not possible with the Affordable Care Act. That said, the free-market reforms put forward by President Bush in Medicare worked (for the reasons why, you might take a look at this piece James Capretta and I wrote a few years ago). The same thing, I’m venturing to guess, won’t be said about ObamaCare at a comparable period.
Desperate liberals reach for desperate comparisons. This is one of them.