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POLICY: Medicare bill making it?

As I go to bed late, late Sunday night it looks like the Medicare bill is going to avoid a filibuster and get through the Senate.  Go see Don Johnson at The Business Word for the latest news. Meanwhile here’s a chart showing how much impact the bill will have on seniors’ drug costs.  As I remark in some comments over at the Bloviator, it really only helps those poor seniors who are currently paying $2-4,000 a year and are literally deciding between food or drugs–and those with drug costs over $5,000 for whom it is a good catastrophic drug insurance policy.  For the larger majority  of seniors paying less for drugs or those with higher incomes, this bill doesn’t do too much.  It also looks like it’ll reduce employers’ support for Medigap policies. I suspect that the politically unpopularity of that feature of the Bill will come to bite the Republicans in the 2004 election. In any event watch for more vicious politicization of Medicare’s future in its representation to seniors in the coming days and weeks.

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