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News of the Day ... in Perspective


Medicare cost limits, or unlimited entitlement?

The White House and House Republicans are pushing for cutbacks in Medicare if costs, including the cost of a new drug entitlement, exceed estimates. This would limit enhancements to drug benefits, expansion of out-patient coverage, or increases in physician payments. House Republican negotiators also propose declaring Medicare to be “programmatically insolvent” if general tax revenues account for more than 45% of expenditures at any point in the next 7 years. Democrats say that if any drug benefit is enacted, they will immediately campaign to expand it. The General Accounting Office calls Medicare’s growing reliance on general revenue a “mortgage on future generations.”
NY Times, Nov. 4, 2003, www.nytimes.com/2003/11/04/politics/04MEDI.html

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