While Democrats and Republicans were arguing over whether income tax rates for the wealthy would rise in 2013, one new t...Read more
Democrats Begin Effort to Revise New Medicare Law
- January 23rd, 2004
Encouraged by their constituents' less-than-enthusiastic response to the new Medicare legislation, Congressional Democrats are stepping up efforts to revise it in the next session.
Democrats have assailed the bill as a threat to Medicare and a giveaway to the drug companies and HMOs. "This is a continuation of this administration and this Republican Party selling out government to special interests," said Rep. Richard Gephardt (D-MO) when the bill was passed.
In new legislation, the Democrats hope to decrease the role of private health plans in Medicare, enhance the prescription drug benefit and eliminate a provision in the current law that forbids the federal government from negotiating with pharmaceutical companies for lower prices.
In a speech to Families USA Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) called for legislation that would repeal several provisions in the law. Kennedy said he hopes to "lift the shroud of deception from the Republican Medicare law, expose it for the fraud it is and fix it." (Click here for entire speech.)
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) plans to introduce a bill that would repeal a provision in the Medicare law that requires low-income beneficiaries to meet an "asset test." Stabenow's bill also would exempt Michigan from participating in a pilot program to require direct competition between private health plans and the traditional government-run Medicare program.
In the House, Rep. Benjamin Cardin (D-MD) has introduced legislation that would allow HHS to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies for discounts on their products; eliminate the competition pilot program; establish a standard Medicare drug benefit option; and eliminate a provision in the law that would require Congress to make possibly drastic cutbacks in the program if general revenues fall.
Meanwhile, Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) has asked the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to make a new estimate of the number of retirees who could lose their prescription drug coverage as a result of the Medicare law. Before the law was passed, the CBO estimated that 3.8 million retirees could lose their coverage.
For more on the Medicare law, click here.
To read Sen. Kennedy's speech, in which he announces his intention to introduce new legislation, the Health Security and Affordability Act, which would create a national health care program, click here.
Local Elder Law Attorneys in Ashburn, VA
Needham Mitnick & Pollack, PLC
Judith Mtinick is well known for acting as a guardian, conservator, trustee or agent on behalf of clients or by court appointment. This experience gives her a wide perspective and extensive practical knowledge that she uses when advising clients in drafting their planning documents. Her experience, as a court appointed...
Hale Ball Carlson Baumgartner Murphy PLC
Jean Galloway Ball is certified in Elder Law by the National Elder Law Foundation. She is a 1977 honors graduate of the National Law Center, George Washington University, and she did her undergraduate work at the University of California at Berkeley, graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1971. She is admitted to practice in Vir...
Law Offices of John L. Laster
John Laster is a lawyer licensed to practice in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. He limits his practice to wealth transfer planning, trusts, wills, powers of attorney, health care decision-making issues, estate administration and related tax, elder law and disability concerns. Listed in The Best Lawyers...