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February 09, 2005
Bush Offers 'Ownership Society' Drug Benefit
by Scott Ott

(2005-02-09) -- The Bush administration today announced it would pay for the re-estimated $1.2 trillion 10-year cost of the new Medicare drug benefit by applying the president's "ownership society" vision to the use of pharmaceuticals by the elderly.

Under the terms of the plan, senior citizens who need prescription medications would work up to 20 hours per week in local drug manufacturing facilities, counting and packaging pills, to earn medication credits (called 'dosage dollars') and shares of stock in the companies.

"When you give people a handout, it demeans them and creates dependency," President Bush told a cheering sell-out crowd on his Social Security Reform 'Rock the Lockbox' Tour. "We need to let America's seniors maintain their dignity through meaningful work and give them a chance to own a piece of the companies that sell the drugs."

Instead of a $720 billion-to-$1.2 trillion government expense over 10 years, the new plan envisions a seven-year phased takeover of the pharmaceutical industry by the elderly, its biggest customers.

In related news, a spokesman for the McDonald's Corporation, said, "the fast food industry would vigorously oppose this cynical attempt to decimate its workforce."

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