IMO, Medicare Prescription plan pays for itself by reducing costly hospitalizations and rehab. Just for an example, medications to prevent Osteporosis cost less than $300 a YEAR; one hip fracture means, surgery, hospital stay, and extensive rehab. Many other chronic diseases can be maintained with medications: diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, etc. Preventative meds can mean fewer trips to the physician, ER, or hospitalization for the elderly. Seems very ineffecient to pay the expense of surgery for an ailment, then not provide the medications necessary for staying healthy.