September 3, 2003

September 3, 2003 | WebMemo on Health Care

Medicare Malady #36: 7 Out Of 10 Americans Say Congress Is Wrong

So much for "reforming" Medicare: Seven in 10 Americans believe that proposals to add prescription drugs to the Great Society program either will "have no effect" or "make it worse" on their family's situation.

That's the result of a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released Sept. 2. About 42 percent of 805 adults surveyed say the proposals approved by Congress will "have no effect" on them. Nearly 29 percent say the bills would "make it worse," according to the poll.

Congress passed two separate proposals in June that would make prescription drugs available to all Medicare patients. Since then, a Capitol Hill committee has been working out the differences to produce a single bill for President Bush to sign.

The poll's findings do not shock health-care experts at The Heritage Foundation. In fact, the only thing that surprises us is that more people didn't say the bills would make life "worse."

The proposals are "full of nasty surprises," says Heritage health-care expert Robert Moffit. For example, under the Senate bill, more than 4 million retirees could lose their private drug coverage and be dumped into Medicare, according to estimate from the Congressional Budget Office. Also, the proposals could cost as much as $2 trillion by 2030.

Seven out of 10 Americans know these proposals are no good. Congress should, too.

For more information or to receive an e-mail version of "Medicare Maladies," contact medicaremaladies@heritage.org or call Heritage Media Services at (202) 675-1761.

("Medicare Maladies" is a regular feature, launched 7/14/03, from The Heritage Foundation. Sad to say, there's another malady coming your way tomorrow. Daily "maladies" are also available on heritage.org.)

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