Bush administration to look at costs of Medicare

Share this article:

President Bush said he plans to examine the high cost of Medicare after his administration disclosed this week that the prescription drug benefit would cost more than $720 billion over its first 10 years. The administration earlier pegged the cost at $534 billion.

"There's no question that there is an unfunded liability inherent in Medicare that Congress and the administration is going to have to deal with over time," said President Bush, who indicated he would address the issue after completing Social Security reform.

Democrats and Republicans might push for changes in the Medicare law before it takes effect in 2006. Possible cost-cutting changes for the Medicare law include capping spending for the benefit; cutting payments for wealthy beneficiaries; allowing the government to negotiate bulk drug prices with pharmaceutical firms; and legalizing the importation of prescription drugs from Canada and other countries.

Joshua Bolten, director of the Office of Management and Budget, told Congress on Wednesday that the administration will work with lawmakers to control the drug benefit's cost.

Share this article:

More in News

Bill addressing admission status receives praise

A bill that would require hospitals to give patients a formal notice of their admission status has received strong support from healthcare associations.

Increased 'bed taxes' on nursing facilities warrant stricter federal oversight, report states

States have been increasingly taxing skilled nursing facilities and other healthcare providers to fund Medicaid in recent years, and federal authorities should look more closely at this trend, according to a government report released Tuesday.

Last chance: Tech Awards deadline arrives

Last chance: Tech Awards deadline arrives

There are hours left for innovative long-term care providers to enter the third annual McKnight's Excellence in Technology Awards. Submissions will be accepted until the stroke of midnight tonight.