Dick Durbin makes a veiled reference to a recent column of mine (note the mention of “granny gougers”) in today’s Chicago Tribune (which carries my column). To the extent he actually deals with my criticism of his legislation, Durbin’s op-ed is — surprise! — shamefully dishonest. His legislation would have set prices higher for the very people he claims to be rescuing with “old-fashioned marketplace competition.” Indeed, here is what I wrote about Durbin’s plan, which he does not even attempt to refute:
Meanwhile, Democrats, furious that the Republicans had stolen their issue, rejected the whole Medicare plan on the grounds that it was an expensive “giveaway” to Big Pharma and insurance companies. Democrats, it seems, prefer even more expensive giveaways to the voters. For example, Sen. Dick Durbin’s alternative plan, proposed shortly after Medicare Part D was passed (and still officially under consideration by the Democrats), never contemplated that market forces could lead to anything good. So he insisted that consumers must – must! – pay $35 a month in premiums. It turned out that competition has made $35 expensive by comparison – one plan costs a mere $6 per month, and the average is $32. Dick Durbin: granny gouger!
Seems he needs a refresher on what, exactly, “old-fashioned marketplace competition” means.