You See, Enrolling Didn’t Hurt A Bit!

Lo and behold, we’re finally seeing the emergence of a cohort that has something nice to say about the new Medicare prescription-drug benefit. A study by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press conveys the pertinent data. Among seniors who’ve managed to finish enrolling in the program, 64 percent said they found the process easy—doubling the 32 percent who found it difficult. Whether despite or because of the many drug plans from which they could choose, 57 percent said they’re “very confident” and 22 percent “somewhat confident” they picked the one that’s best for them. A sizable number even think it will save them money (see chart). Thus, the views of satisfied customers—crucial for the success of any new brand—could start to rejigger the mix of public opinion about the new benefit. Seniors who’d given up on trying to decipher their options may come to believe it’s worth the effort after all. Among adults in general, meanwhile, the poll finds next to no constituency for paring the amount the government spends on health care. Seventy percent said the government spends too little on health care, vs. 11 percent saying it spends too much. Conversely, 65 percent said the “average American” spends too much on it, vs.17 percent saying he spends too little.