August 5, 2003 | WebMemo on Health Care
"It's absolutely essential that the House and the Senate resolve
their differences and enact a piece of legislation that I can sign.
… We must keep the promise of Medicare by giving our seniors
better coverage and better choices."
So said President Bush during a July 30 press conference. It's a nice, "can't we all just get along?" statement. But what Bush didn't say is that the Medicare legislation, currently being hammered out by a Capitol Hill committee, needs more than a resolving of differences. It needs a major overhaul.
Recent Heritage Foundation research has found that Medicare "reforms," such as adding prescription-drug coverage as an entitlement, would:
• Force about 4.4 million retirees to lose their drug coverage.
• Increase out-of-pocket drug costs by an average of $621 for seniors.
• Cost taxpayers a total of $2 trillion through 2030, with higher costs thereafter.
"The Medicare drug entitlement is a policy disaster," Heritage health-care expert Robert Moffit says. "It would be better if both the House and the Senate threw out the current legislation and started from scratch. "
Stick to your guns, Mr. President. Demand a better bill.
Read more about Heritage's Medicare research at heritage.org.
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