Still, given that history has proven amply that I am no lover, I might as well be a fighter. However, I don't want to offer a counterargument. That would, after all, require considerable contemplation and, worse, work. Instead, I want to offer a bet. A beer, say, to be settled five years from now.
Understand that there are basically four parts to the "template" of the Medicare prescription drug plan:
(1) the first deductible (to $250)My wager is that when people of the Rational Liberal stripe are talking about this bill five years from now, one part will be regarded as a bigger mistake than the others. And it won't be (3). It will be (4).
(2) the first coverage ($251-$2850, 75% coverage)
(3) the second deductible ("the doughnut hole," $2851-$5100)
(4) the second coverage ($5101+, 95% coverage)
(No, this is not me just choosing a number other than 3 at random. This is based on my belief that, at the end of the day, I may well have underestimated the pathology of the doughnut hole, but the greater pathology remains the American refusal to discipline drug prices through any of the means other countries do. I could be wrong about what implications this will ultimately have for the Medicare plan, but, spiritedly, I'm willing to bet on it.)