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Capitol Hill Watch Alert

House to Vote on The Medicare Modernization and Prescription Drug Act of 2002 (H.R. 4954)

The House Of Representatives is expected to vote on the Medicare Modernization and Prescription Drug Act of 2002 (H.R. 4954) as early as Wednesday, June 26, 2002. (Full text of legislation). 


Prior to the federal government adding another entitlement program to Medicare, the current system must be reformed because it is both economically and fiscally unsustainable. The Congressional Budget Office demonstrates that under current Medicare spending will grow more than 90 percent, to $490 billion in 2012, from $252 billion this year, with no additional benefits.  The prescription drug benefit would cost taxpayers $350 billion over the next ten years.    All but low-income seniors would be required to pay a monthly premium of $35 and meet a $250 annual deductible, under the plan approved by the House Ways and Means Committee.  On the first $1,000 of drug costs, the government would pay 80 percent of costs and on the next $1,000 it would pay 50 percent.  For drug costs beyond this, patients would be responsible once they reach $3,800 in out-of -pocket spending prior to additional government help taking effect.

The last attempt at providing prescription drug coverage which ended in disaster was the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act of 1988.  After its enactment, the prescription drug coverage was far less appealing to millions of seniors, far more difficult to administer than officially claimed, and dramatically more expensive than originally projected.

What Can You Do?

Urge your representative to Not Support the Medicare Modernization and Prescription Drug Act of 2002 (H.R. 4954)

Contact Information:

Capitol Hill Switchboard Numbers: 202-225-3121 or 202-224-3121 (Those numbers will direct you to the Capitol Hill operator. Ask for your representative's office.)

To go to your representative's website, find his E-mail or to find out who your representative is... http://www.house.gov/house/MemberWWW.html

To electronically mail your U.S. House of Representative, go to http://www.house.gov/htbin/wrep_findrep.


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