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A Medicare Anniversary Event: What Will Medicare's Future Hold For Seniors And Taxpayers?

Recorded on July 29, 2003

See photos from this event

The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

July 30th is Medicare's anniversary. When enacted in 1965, Medicare was designed to secure health care coverage for the elderly and the poor. Within only a few years, coverage was expanded to additional high-risk groups including disabled persons. Today, it is the second largest federal entitlement program, and, by all accounts, one of the most powerful engines of government regulation in existence. That is one of the reasons why Congress is locked in an intense and bitter debate over major legislation that will determine the future of the Medicare program. Will the House and Senate Medicare bills prepare the way for a trouble free retirement for the 77 million Baby Boomers set to retire in just eight years? How will current and proposed Medicare changes affect federal spending, taxation and the budget? How will Medicare be governed? What will be the relationship between doctors and patients in the future Medicare program? Will tomorrow's Medicare patients have access to the best doctors, the most advanced technologies, and the highest quality of care?