By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR
WASHINGTON (AP) — Medicare enrollees who take expensive medicines could save thousands of dollars a year under the Democrats’ sweeping social agenda bill, but those dividends won’t come overnight. Instead, they’ll build gradually over the decade. Experts who’ve analyzed the complex moving parts of the bill’s prescription drug compromise say it would also offer people with private insurance some protection from escalating costs. Savings would be concentrated among patients with serious chronic illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis, along with those who take combinations of costly medicines to try to keep health problems under control. The compromise barely survived the pharmaceutical industry’s lobbying blitz.