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Medicare Prescription Drug Legislation in the U.S. Senate: Public Reaction Among Americans Aged 45 and Over

During the last weeks of July 2002, the U.S. Senate considered expanding Medicare to include a prescription drug benefit. Disagreements among Senators over levels of coverage and the cost of competing plans resulted in no benefit being passed by the Senate. This nationally representative survey of 1,070 Americans age 45 and over, conducted between July 31 and August 4, 2002 explores public reaction to the Senate's inability to pass a prescription drug benefit.

Eight in ten say it is very important (61%) or somewhat important (19%) that the Senate passes legislation adding a prescription benefit to the Medicare program, and over six in ten are very angry (32%) or somewhat angry (29%) that the U.S. Senate was unable to do so before recessing for Congress' summer vacation.

The report was prepared by Jeffrey Love, Ph.D., of AARP Knowledge Management who may be contacted for more information at (202) 434-6279. (5 pages)

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