Budget negotiations are getting a lot of press, and for good reason. At issue this week is a 1 percent increase in Medicare reimbursement for doctors, and lawmakers are still trying to reach an agreement on Medicare cuts.
Meanwhile, doctors and beneficiaries have expressed confusion over Medicare’s new prescription drug program, and patients’ rights groups have threatened to sue the federal government. President George Bush, however, says the program is a “good deal.” From USA Today:
The new law offers an array of options, Bush said, and potential recipients who are wary can look to Medicare officials, family members, community centers and the AARP for help and advice.
“People will be able to match a program to their specific needs,” he said during a visit to a retirement center outside Washington. He called the new program “a good deal for our seniors.”
Enrollment began Nov. 15, and benefits begin Jan. 1. Congress created the program in 2003 to cut prescription-drug costs for seniors, but critics say the program is too complex, too costly and a potential liability for Republican congressional candidates.
While Democratic lawmakers claim the drug plan benefits only insurers and drug manufacturers, Republicans contend that the program is too expensive.