Old Wives' Tales
Radio & TV
Toxin du jour
Claim: President Bush is responsible for a 17% increase in Medicare premiums.
Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2004]
Origins: The availability of health care and the associated costs of medical care, prescription drugs, and insurance are a major issue in every campaign, especially among older voters. With premiums for the government-funded Medicare program scheduled to rise from $66.60 to $78.20 per month in January 2005 (a
Democrats have maintained that the Bush administration bears much of the responsibility for the increase in premiums because it has done little to control health costs and had directed too much Medicare money to the managed health care industry, and Democratic nominee John Kerry's campaign aired a commercial that (incorrectly) implied that President Bush was responsible for the increase in Medicare premiums ("George Bush imposes the biggest Medicare premium increase in
Republicans had hoped to emphasize their support of Medicare in this campaign season, after making herculean efforts to pass legislation adding drug benefits to the health program forLike most political issues, health care is a complex subject that has been shaped and affected by many different pieces of legislation, and no one person or political party is solely responsible for the rise in Medicare premiums. Those interested in trying to follow the bouncing ball and track the origins of the
But the new law, signed by Bush in December, has met mixed reviews. The drug benefits, representing the largest expansion of Medicare since its creation in 1965, do not become available until 2006, and the increase in premiums has nothing to do with the new drug coverage. Beneficiaries will have to pay an additional premium, expected to average
The Bush campaign advertisement, titled "Medicare Hypocrisy," says, "It was
Last updated: 12 October 2004
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