President Obama hailed a tentative health care agreement
announced in the Senate last week, saying that he would support
it, and majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) sent the proposal to
the Congressional Budget Office for cost analysis the next day.
However, Joe Lieberman announced that he would oppose the
"Medicare Buy In". If you have not already, now is the time to
let Lieberman know that he is being watched by Older Americans.
Click HERE to sign the "Stop Joe" petition.
Click HERE to "Adopt Connecticut" and join with, and support
that state's activists who are standing up to Joe!
According to The New York Times, the deal would allow some people
ages 55 to 64 to buy coverage through Medicare beginning in 2011.
At first, they would pay full cost. Eventually, the legislation would
allow them to obtain subsidies to help defray the cost. Senior
advocates view the Medicare expansion as a major step for people
nearing retirement who face some of the biggest obstacles to obtaining
insurance and pay some of the highest prices.
The agreement also calls for creating a menu of national insurance plans,
modeled after those offered to federal workers, including members of
Congress. The new, nonprofit insurance plans would be overseen by the
Office of Personnel Management, which now runs the Federal Employees
Health Benefits Program. The deal maintains the public option as a
fallback plan, to be "triggered" if private insurers do not step up to
offer the new national plans.
Activists rallied outside the Senate last Thursday (December 10),
pressing senators to drop a tax on higher-end insurance plans. At issue
is a proposed 40% excise tax on health care plans costing more than
$8,500 annually for individuals and $23,000 for families.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who spoke at the event, has introduced an
amendment with Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) to strip out the insurance
plan tax. "The House approach, which would raise income taxes on
individuals making more than $500,000 a year and couples making more
than $1 million, would not have the detrimental effect on coverage for
retirees and older workers that the Senate's excise tax would," said
Barbara J. Easterling, President of the Alliance for Retired Americans.
On the Senate floor on Thursday, Sens. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and John
McCain (R-AZ) pushed an amendment to allow U.S. pharmacies and drug
wholesalers to import Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs from
Canada, Europe and a few other countries.
See my blog immediately below this.
A vote is likely to occur on Early this week---Maybe today! Be ready
to call your Senators and ask them to support Drug Re-importation.