Following new federal government projections that the Medicare drug benefit will cost more than $8 trillion over the next 75 years, a conservative coalition called on Congress to repeal all portions of last year's Medicare reform law that have yet to be enacted. Many members of Congress who voted for the bill would not have done so if they had known it would cost at least $534 billion over 10 years, a figure the Bush administration released after the bill had become law, said Donald Devine, chairman of the Coalition Against Higher Medicare Costs, which includes such members as the Heritage Foundation and the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. Devine said the coalition has not attracted any congressional sponsors for a measure that would repeal or revise the law but argued that such a step must be taken this year to improve the nation's fiscal outlook. "It's time for Congress to reverse course," added John Berthoud, president of the National Taxpayers Union, a member of the coalition. Earlier today, the U.S. Treasury Department released the annual Medicare trustees report, which predicted that the hospital insurance trust fund will go broke in 2019, seven years earlier than projected last year. -- by Jeff Tieman
Group calls for repeal of parts of Medicare law
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