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News of the Day ... in Perspective

11/21/2003 Medicare bill could come to a vote today; conservatives split

In the Nov. 21 Wall Street Journal, former congressman Dick Armey writes: “The deal on prescription drugs struck this week is in fact bad news for senior citizens and possibly even worse political news for the Republican Party.”

Forty-four conservative and free-market groups, including AAPS, have signed a letter denouncing the legislation.

Other groups believe that the Health Savings Account provisions could bring about enough marketplace changes to build momentum for free-market reform and thus urge support of the bill despite the massive new unfunded entitlement and threats to seniors’ existing drug coverage.

The new Health Savings Accounts require purchase of an insurance plan with a minimum deductible of $1,000 for individuals ($2,000 for families) and a maximum deductible plus other out-of-pocket expenses of $5,000 for individuals ($10,000 for families). See pp. 665-680. Click here to download a PDF file of the bill. 1.5MB

The House of Representatives has passed a one-year extension of Archer MSAs, which were slated to expire on Dec. 31, 2003. The Senate has not yet acted.

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