Wednesday, October 15, 2003


Medicare premiums will rise next year by 13.5 percent to $66.60 a month for about 40 million Americans in the program, the third-largest increase in its history, the government said Wednesday

This increase applies to part B (non-hospital) insurance. Quite an increase from the $3 per-month premium in the 1960's.
A graded premium structure is gaining support:

Key lawmakers reported a growing consensus Wednesday for the historic step of requiring higher-income seniors to pay more for their Medicare than other beneficiaries.

But not everyone is happy:

AARP, formerly the American Association of Retired Persons, said Congress should not approve additional payments to medical providers until it passes a prescription drug benefit. When the cost of the program rises, participants end up footing more of the bill.

What kind of position is that? Medicare access is an increasing problem. Without reimbursement keeping pace with cost increases more physicians will be dropping out of Medicare. A drug benefit is of little use if you cannot find someone to write the prescription.
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