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Highlights from Nationwide Opinion Pages

Compiled by AARP Staff

The New York Times (

The Times concludes that, "Despite its shortcomings, the Medicare prescription drug bill heading for a vote in Congress is worthy of passage. Fears that the legislation contains seeds that will ultimately destroy the traditional Medicare program strike us as overblown. Our own chief qualm is that the country, with deficits looming as far as prognosticators can see, cannot afford a program that will cost, at a minimum, $400 billion over 10 years. (The New York Times, 11/19).

USA Today (

While the proposed Medicare legislation is "far from perfect," it at least tries to "address the program's runaway costs," a USA Today editorial states. A "frank discussion" of Medicare benefits, beneficiaries' costs and the program's rising expenses "is critical to Medicare's future whether or not the prescription drug benefit passes," the editorial states (USA Today, 11/18).

The Dallas Morning News (

"Like all compromise bills, there's plenty to dislike" in the proposed legislation; however, the compromise offers "some reforms that Congress can build upon later" and should be passed, a Morning News editorial says (The Dallas Morning News, 11/19).

The Bakersfield Californian (

Although the "final benefits" of Medicare legislation are "uncertain," it is "absolutely imperative that Congress quickly pass" a bill because the opportunity to add a prescription drug benefit to the program is "now or possibly never," a Californian editorial states (The Bakersfield Californian, 11/18).

The Christian Science Monitor (

"Congress should embrace the opportunity to pass a compromise measure" that includes the "right balance" of the addition of a prescription drug benefit and the introduction of private competition with the program, according to a Monitor editorial (The Christian Science Monitor, 11/19).

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