Friday, September 03, 2004
Medicare payments for U.S. elderly to rise 17 pct
Most of the increase will cover the program's new prescription drug coverage and preventive services, including an initial physical exam and other tests, said Mark McClellan, head of the federal health insurance program for the elderly and disabled.How incredibly cynical that this is announced
The remaining amount, about 25 percent, will be used to help build up Medicare's trust fund, he said, adding that the higher upfront costs will help save money elsewhere.
1) on the day after the Republican convention, and
2) on a Friday before a 3-day weekend when no one will be paying attention.
You'll note that this is the premium increase that was predicted last April by the Medicare guy who then got trashed by the bushies:
The Congressional Budget Office estimated the bill would cost less than $400 billion over 10 years. But after the bill was signed by President George W. Bush, the administration revealed that its own expert put the cost at $534 billion.Thank you, AARP, who collaborated on this mess of a program. What does Kerry say?
That expert, Medicare actuary Richard Foster, also correctly forecast in March that the 2005 premiums would rise by about 17 percent.
Kerry campaign spokesman Phil Singer said the increase showed that Bush had failed to contain health care costs, adding "when it comes to helping seniors, George Bush has proven that he's taking us in the wrong direction."I'll say. No, listen to what GWB himself says:
I believe we have a moral responsibility to honor America's seniors -- so I brought Republicans and Democrats together to strengthen Medicare. Now seniors are getting immediate help buying medicine. Soon every senior will be able to get prescription drug coverage, and nothing will hold us back. (Applause.)
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