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News of the Day ... in Perspective


Bush threatens to veto attempt to repeal Medicare prescription drug coverage; Kennedy proposes employer mandate

In his State of the Union message, President Bush said that “starting this year, millions of Americans will be able to save money tax-free for their medical expenses in a health savings account.”

He said that he would veto “any attempt to limit the choices of our seniors, or to take away their prescription drug coverage under Medicare.” federalist.com/news/04sotu.asp

Senator Kennedy (D-MA) looked glum when the President started talking about how people would be able to make their own choices and about how “government-run medicine is the wrong prescription.” He has introduced a bill called the Health Security and Affordability Act, which force employers to offer health insurance, just as they have for decades been forced to “contribute” to Social Security. Employers would be required to pay up to 12% of payroll.

Additional information:

Free-Market Crisis and Opportunity (AAPS News, Feb. 2004)

The employer-mandate job killer (NCPA brief analysis # 110, June 27, 1994, (www.ncpa.org/ba/ba110.html)

“In 1992, the Minority Staff of the Joint Economic Committee estimated that a pay or play employer mandate with a 7% tax penalty would cause over 710,000 workers to lose their jobs in the first year of implementation.” See Clinton Health Care Task Force Archive at www.aapsonline.org.

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