That year having been listening to Rush Limbaugh the issue that came up the most was this legislation (a prescription drug entitlement) being pushed through Congress. It upset Limbaugh and other conservative because it wasn't being pushed by Democrats, but by Republicans. Especially President Bush who is said to be the biggest spendor in the US government since fellow Texan Lyndon Johnson was in the White House.
Then I find this in Crain's Chicago Business today about the Governor's drug program...
An Illinois program to import prescription drugs from Canada not only broke federal law but also failed to help many senior citizens, the state auditor reported Tuesday.
Auditor General William Holland reviewed the program and found that fewer than 5,000 people obtained medicine through the program in its first 19 months. That's about 65 people per week.
Holland also found incomplete state inspections of the foreign pharmacies filling the prescriptions and lax monitoring to ensure the medicine comes only from approved pharmacies.
Holland found that the state has devoted at least $488,000 worth of state employees' time to promoting the program. Some of them were paid with federal funds even though the program violates federal law.
State personnel also have accumulated over $111,000 in travel expenses related to the program — much of it not approved in advance — and $220,000 in legal fees.
Blagojevich disagrees though and he promises that the state of Illinois will not be bullied by the FDA...
"Broadening the scope of I-SaveRx will help the taxpayers save money by reducing the state's prescription drug costs. It will also help employees save money ..." he said in a letter to the federal Food and Drug Administration.
Blagojevich launched the program in October 2004 as a way for Illinois senior citizens to avoid the high prices for American medicine. Four other states ended up joining the program, although federal law bars the importation of foreign drugs.
So let's get into state politics here. As I've seem to have rarely done until just now. I don't like either of the candidates for governor. I really like the governor less than Topinka. So the question will have to be, could this hurt the governor.