Committee to revise new Medicare legislation

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Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT)
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT)
Leaders in both houses of Congress this week introduced legislation that would cut Medicare growth, but Democrats said they are opposed to it.

The bill is required as part of the 2003 Medicare Act, which obliges Congress to introduce White House-sponsored Medicare legislation within 15 days of its annual budget proposal. Under the 2003 law, legislators are required to vote on final passage of the bill by June 30.

Max Baucus (D-MT), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has said that he will pursue "real Medicare reform legislation in the coming weeks." His committee is expected to make significant revisions to the current bill, including increasing access to preventative benefits and primary care. It also will seek to help low-income seniors with rising Medicare premium costs, he said.

See the White House legislation, as introduced in the Senate, at http://www.finance.senate.gov/sitepages/legislation.htm.