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  Medicare: Key Stories
Major Post stories, the most recent listed first.

Medicare Reform Dies on Hill
Oct. 14, 1999
House and Senate leaders on health issues said they have abandoned efforts to produce legislation this year reforming the nation's Medicare system, dropping for now the popular idea of helping elderly Americans pay for prescription drugs.

Elderly Face Health Premium Hike
Sept. 23, 1999
Elderly patients who belong to private health plans will have to pay three times as much in monthly premiums next year as they do now and will find HMOs significantly less willing to pay for their medicine, according to a government analysis released.

Drugmakers Launch Campaign on Medicare
July 28, 1999
After keeping a low profile for weeks in the debate over expanded prescription drug coverage for the elderly, the pharmaceutical industry and its allies went public with a multimillion-dollar national advertising campaign aimed at ensuring that Medicare reforms won't lead to price controls or other federal interference.

CBO: Higher Price Tag for Clinton Medicare Plan
July 23, 1999
The director of the Congressional Budget Office told a Senate committee that the president's plan would cost the government $111 billion over the next decade, more than double the $45.5 billion price tag Clinton pinned to the proposal when he unveiled it three weeks ago.

Clinton Attacks Senate GOP Health Plan
July 10, 1999
President Clinton intensified his campaign to increase protections for patients in health care plans by giving a fiery speech at a hospital and contrasting Democratic ideas with rival Republican ones as a choice between "whether some people live or some people die."

Lobbyists Get Aggressive on Health Care Issue
July 5, 1999
Five Republican senators returning to their states for the July 4 recess are in for a surprise welcome home: a barrage of television and radio ads aimed at rallying opposition to key provisions in "patients' rights" legislation due for floor debate when Congress reconvenes.

Elderly to Face Hikes in HMO Fees
July 2, 1999
Most of the 6.7 million elderly Americans who belong to HMOs are going to be charged more for their medical care, and at least 250,000 such patients will be dropped outright by their health plans, health industry officials said.

Medicare Drug Plan Applauded
July 1, 1999
President Clinton took his Medicare reform proposals on the road, telling cheering senior citizens that "no American should have to choose between fighting infection and fighting hunger."

Clinton Details Overhaul Plan for Medicare
June 30, 1999
Under the long-awaited proposal to reform Medicare, the government would try to foster new price competition among HMOs, with Medicare patients for the first time given the ability to pocket savings if they chose plans that can offer services for less money.

Clinton Displays Ability to Frame Debate
June 30, 1999
President Clinton's announcement of his plans to devote an ever-expanding surplus to Social Security and the one on his plans for overhauling Medicare made plain his desire to finish his presidency with a grand flourish.

Income Level Key in Medicare Proposal
June 30, 1999
A proposed Medicare prescription benefit would have markedly different effects on consumers depending on their income and circumstances, defying easy generalizations about whether it's a good deal.

Lobbyist's Appearance at Caucus Causes Riff
June 27, 1999
Some Republican congressmen privately protested after GOP leaders allowed a health care lobbyist to brief the party's caucus on Medicare proposals without disclosing her clients' financial stake in the issue.

Clinton Abandons Medicare Means-Testing
June 26, 1999
President Clinton is abandoning plans to call for a fundamental change to Medicare that would have for the first time charged 39 million elderly and disabled Americans different amounts for their health care depending on their income.

Medicare Coverage for Prescription Drugs Is a Hit
June 15, 1999
Taking advantage of the issue's popularity with Americans of all ages, the White House has missed no opportunity to remind the public that drug benefits will be a prime feature of a Medicare reform plan it is preparing to release later this month.

Patients Are Caught Short as Benefits Wane
May 10, 1999
This year, an estimated 200,000 elderly or disabled patients will pay for a little-noticed cut in Medicare benefits that lawmakers tucked into the Balanced Budget Act of 1997.

Health Lobby Seeks Ease on Government Caps
May 10, 1999
At a time when the federal government is worried about how to keep Medicare from going broke, the health care industry is begging Congress to retreat on the few steps it has already taken to save the program money.

Bradley Raises Medicare Means Test
April 29, 1999
Democratic presidential candidate Bill Bradley said this week that the country should explore the use of a means test for Medicare recipients as one way to help ensure the financially troubled program's future solvency.

Prognosis Better for Medicare, Social Security
March 31, 1999
The financial health of the Medicare and Social Security systems has improved dramatically, according to a new government forecast that could undermine the chances that Congress will reform either of the nation's main retirement programs this year.

Medicare Panel Fails to Agree on Recommendations
March 17, 1999
A federal commission that was supposed to guide Medicare reforms disbanded in dissent, unable to agree on any advice for Congress and the White House.

Medicare Panel in Policy Deadlock
March 16, 1999
The Medicare commission is so deadlocked that it appears likely to collapse without sending any advice to Congress or the White House.

Medicine Costs Spur Medicare Battle
March 14, 1999
Whether Medicare should begin to pay for prescription drugs – and whether it can afford to do so – is the most divisive question facing a federal panel struggling to safeguard the nation's insurance program for the elderly.

Breaux Aims to Cultivate Medicare Reform
March 14, 1999
Sen. John Breaux (D-La.), indefatigable legislative matchmaker, is presiding over the last days of a Medicare reform commission that has shown little taste for compromise.

Clinton's Medicare Plan Called Irresponsible
March 11, 1999
The plan to spend $700 billion of the expected budget surpluses to help rescue Medicare would not fix the program's underlying problems, the General Accounting Office and Congressional Budget Office said.

Impasse Over Medicare Reform Looks Likely
Feb. 25, 1999
A federal commission working to reform Medicare is likely to end deadlocked after nearly a year of work.

Clinton Blasts Republican Tax-Cut Plans
Feb. 4, 1999
President Clinton warns that Republican tax-cut plans would be paid for by reducing spending on the nation's health care plan for the elderly.

Major Changes in Medicare Proposed
Jan. 23, 1999
Sen. John Breaux (D-La.), chairman of the commission seeking to make changes to Medicare, says "fundamental reform" is needed, rather than simply a massive infusion of money, as proposed by President Clinton.

Clinton: Prosperity Should Aid Elderly
Jan. 20, 1999
In his State of the Union address, President Clinton proposed directing billions of the budget surplus to the Medicare health insurance program for seniors.

New Round of Medicare Cuts Expected
Jan. 8, 1999
The White House is preparing to recommend a substantial new round of cuts in the payments that the government makes to the nation's hospitals for caring for elderly patients.

Federal Panel Weighs Medicare Changes
Dec. 3, 1998
A federal commission searching for a way to preserve Medicare is contemplating a profound change in the program to one that would rely more heavily on the private health care market.

Medicare Reformers Flooded With Ideas
Sept. 9, 1998
At its first formal hearing seeking solutions to Medicare's problems, the federal commission heard from insurers, managed-care companies and consumer groups.

Medicare Commission May Look at Developing New System
March 7, 1998
The commission charged with coming up with recommendations to save Medicare has suggested redesigning the system from scratch.

Critics of Medicare Plan Urge Caution
Jan. 10, 1998
Critics of President Clinton's proposal to expand the Medicare health insurance program portray the plan as a risky experiment with a system teetering on the brink of financial collapse.

Clinton Proposes Medicare Expansion
Jan. 7, 1998
The largest expansion of Medicare in a quarter century offers early retirees and displaced workers the opportunity to buy coverage under the government's health care program for the elderly.

Medicare Benefits and Choices Expand
Oct. 21, 1997
The balanced budget bill signed by President Clinton makes huge structural changes in the federal health plan for the elderly and disabled that will directly affect beneficiaries for years.

Medicare Recipients to Face a Dizzying Array of Choices
Aug. 18, 1997
A $192 billion federal program is tilting Medicare sharply toward managed care by opening Medicare to intense competition from HMOs and other private health plans.

A Costly Medicare Question: Who Collects Premium Hike?
July 23, 1997
President Clinton and congressional Republicans support the idea of raising the Medicare premiums paid by wealthy senior citizens. But they are at odds over how to collect the fees. Would it be the IRS?

Medicare Means-Testing Plan Scrapped
July 22, 1997
Republicans backed away from a plan to impose higher Medicare premiums on affluent senior citizens in the face of concerns that Democrats would make an issue of it in next year's campaign.

Medicare Eligibility-Age Rise Rejected
July 11, 1997
Congressional negotiators ruled out a Senate plan to raise the eligibility age for Medicare recipients from 65 to 67.

Medicare Plan Cuts $115 Billion but Offers New Choices
June 4, 1997
President Clinton and House Republicans settled a key difference over a plan to preserve Medicare for the next decade by imposing the largest spending cuts in the program's history.

© Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

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