California Healthline Features Opinion Pieces on Medicare
California Healthline features an editorial and opinion pieces that address several issues under consideration by negotiators charged with reconciling the House and Senate Medicare bills (HR 1 and S 1). Summaries of the editorial and opinion pieces appear below.
San Jose Mercury News: A provision under consideration by Medicare negotiators that would relate Part B premiums to the incomes of beneficiaries "deserves support," a Mercury News editorial states. The editorial concludes that such a provision is "a reasonable solution in an era of skyrocketing health care costs" (San Jose Mercury News, 10/21).
- Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)/Don Nickles (R-Okla.), Washington Post: The passage of a final Medicare bill this year that would add a prescription drug benefit program "would be good news for today's seniors" but "would be bad news for tomorrow's seniors" without provisions to "make Medicare more financially sound," Feinstein and Nickles write in a Post opinion piece. Feinstein and Nickles conclude, "Avoiding real reform now does not make the problem go away. It simply leaves tougher choices to future generations and future Congresses" (Feinstein/Nickles, Washington Post, 10/22).
- Tommy Thompson, Washington Post: Medicare negotiators "should remember this: Creating a false choice between all or nothing too often leaves us with nothing," Thompson, secretary of HHS, writes in a Post opinion piece. Thompson concludes, "We need to take bold steps now to deliver meaningful improvements to Medicare, including a prescription drug benefit and more choices for seniors. These steps will lead us then down a path toward stronger health care for seniors for generations to come" (Thompson, Washington Post, 10/22).