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House Passes Bill to Stop Rise in Medicare Premiums [View All]

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Why Syzygy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-24-09 02:03 PM
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House Passes Bill to Stop Rise in Medicare Premiums
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Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- The House voted overwhelmingly Thursday to eliminate monthly premium increases for millions of Medicare patients next year.

It voted 406 to 18 to send the bill to the Senate, which is expected to act soon.

Lawmakers said older Americans shouldn't have to pay higher Medicare Part B premiums because they aren't expected to get a cost-of-living increase from Social Security.

The vast majority of Medicare recipients already are exempt from Part B premium increases because of a provision that kicks in when there is no increase in Social Security.

Still, several million would face monthly premium increases of $8 to $23 without congressional action. The standard monthly premium is $96.40 this year.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland, in a rare break with fellow Democrats, voted against the measure, saying it would mainly help wealthy Medicare recipients.

"If we take care of everybody, we won't be able to take care of those who need us most," Mr. Hoyer said.

Copyright 2009 Associated Press
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