20 Nov 2003 Group Releases “Medicare Perspective Index” to Shed Light on Prescription Drug Debate: Irreverent List of Factoids a Grim Parody of Harper’s Index — But a Lot More Expensive
With a nod to Harper’s Index, The National Center for Public Policy Research is releasing today the “Medicare Perspective Index,” a compilation of factoids that give an irreverent but useful snapshot of the policy ironies within the $400 billion Medicare prescription drug debate ongoing on Capitol Hill.
Among the three dozen factoids included in the Medicare Perspective Index:
|Pages in the Medicare bill reported out of Conference Committee.||1,100 (est.)|
|Days House Leadership has promised Members can have to read the final Medicare bill before voting on it.||3|
|Seconds available to read and comprehend each page of the final Medicare bill if devoting eight hours a day for three days to reading the bill.||78|
|Dollars of total Medicare spending in 2002.||246,800,000,000|
|Total dollars paid in Medicare premiums by enrollees in 2002.||25,600,000,000|
|Dollars of net taxpayer subsidy to Medicare in 2002.||221,200,000,000|
|Number of uninsured adults who worked full or part time in 2002 and thus paid the Medicare tax of 2.9 cents on every dollar they earned to fund health insurance for someone else.||25,679,000|
|Number of working uninsured adults with incomes below the poverty level in 2002 who paid the Medicare tax of 2.9 cents on every dollar they earned to fund health insurance for someone else.||4,080,000|
|Additional dollars budgeted by Congress for FY 2004 through FY 2013 to pay for expanding Medicare to include prescription drugs.||400,000,000,000|
|Additional dollars budgeted by Congress for FY 2004 through FY 2013 to pay for providing health insurance to the uninsured.||49,965,000,000|
The MPI was compiled by Edmund F. Haislmaier, a leading Washington health policy expert who serves on The National Center’s board of directors. Haislmaier, who also presently serves as a Visiting Research Fellow at the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Health Policy Studies, frequently testifies before Congress on health care matters, including twice recently before the House of Representatives on this particular legislation.