Clinton drops Medicare prescription drug change
June 26, 1999
Web posted at: 11:13 a.m. EDT (1513 GMT)
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The White House has dropped plans to
charge Medicare recipients different premiums for
prescription drug coverage depending upon their income, CNN
A top White House official told CNN the new proposal calls
for a fixed monthly premium of a still-undisclosed amount.
But the rate is believed to be far below the $90 charge for
coverage for all recipients.
Senior citizens living below the poverty level will be
eligible for a subsidy, the official said.
The decision ends a dispute between Democrats in Congress and
the White House over the "means testing" aspect of the
prescription drug benefit in the president's Medicare
House Democrats had feared Republicans would call the
sliding-scale benefits proposal a tax increase. A similar
proposal had been proposed several years ago and eventually
died in Congress. Members of Congress reportedly told White
House officials they are concerned about polling figures that
show an erosion of support for Democrats among older
The White House is expected to release its Medicare proposal
White House Correspondent Chris Black contributed to this
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