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SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON AGING
FRANK CHURCH, Idaho, Chairman HARRISON A. WILLIAMS, New Jersey HIRAM L. FONG, Hawaii ALAN BIBLE, Nevada
CLIFFORD P. HANSEN, Wyoming JENNINGS RANDOLPH, West Virginia EDWARD J. GURNEY, Florida EDMUND S. MUSKIE, Maine
EDWARD W. BROOKE, Massachusetts FRANK E. MOSS, Utah
CHARLES H. PERCY, Illinois EDWARD M. KENNEDY, Massachusetts ROBERT T. STAFFORD, Vermont WALTER F. MONDALE, Minnesota
J. GLENN BEALL, JR., Maryland VANCE HARTKE, Indiana
PETE V. DOMENICI, New Mexico
BILL BROCK, Tennessee
WILLIAM E. ORIOL, Staff Director
DAVID A. AFFELDT, Chief Counsel
PATRICIA G. ORIOL, Chief Clerk
SUBCOMMITTEE ON HEALTH OF THE ELDERLY
EDMUND S. MUSKIE, Maine, Chairman FRANK E. MOSS, Utah
PETE V. DOMENICI, New Mexico HARRISON A. WILLIAMS, New Jersey CLIFFORD P. HANSEN, Wyoming EDWARD M. KENNEDY, Massachusetts EDWARD J. GURNEY, Florida WALTER F. MONDALE, Minnesota
EDWARD W. BROOKE, Massachusetts VANCE HARTKE, Indiana
CHARLES H. PERCY, Illinois CLAIBORNE PELL, Rhode Island
ROBERT T. STAFFORD, Vermont THOMAS F. EAGLETON, Missouri
J. GLENN BEALL, JR., Maryland
Barriers to Health Care for Older Americans:
Part 1. Washington, D.C., March 5, 1973.
Part 16. Washington, D.C., July 17, 1974.
CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF WITNESSES
BARRIERS TO HEALTH CARE FOR OLDER AMERICANS
TUESDAY, MARCH 12, 1974
SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON AGING,
Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 10 a.m., in room 5110, Dirksen Office Building, Hon. Edmund S. Muskie, chairman, presiding.
Present: Senators Muskie, Hartke, Chiles, Fong, and Pell.
Also present: William E. Oriol, staff director; Elizabeth Heidbreder, professional staff member; John Guy Miller, minority staff director; Margaret Fayé, minority professional staff member; Patricia Oriol, chief clerk; Gerald Strickler, printing assistant; Joan Merrigan, clerk; and Dorothy McCamman and Herman Brotman, consultants.
OPENING STATEMENT BY SENATOR EDMUND S. MUSKIE,
Senator MUSKIE. The subcommittee will be in order.
This hearing continues the inquiry of the subcommittee into barriers to health care for older Americans, a series we began 1 year ago this month with hearings on the administration's Medicare cutback proposal, and have continued in other hearings last year in Washington and around the country.
Today and tomorrow we will hear testimony on the administration's national health insurance proposal—the comprehensive health insurance plan. Before we hear from our witnesses today, I would like to make some brief points about national health insurance and the elderly.
First, I note with pleasure that every concerned group in the Nation has recognized the need for enacting a program of national health insurance. The defects of our health care system, for all citizens, are so severe that they can only be solved by a nationwide plan which insures every American access to sound health care. The public, health professionals, the administration, and Congress all agree that national health insurance is a top priority for America.
Second, I would like to note that agreeing on an adequate national health insurance plan will be a difficult and complicated process. Cooperation and a willingness to reason, by all parties involved, will be essential for the process to be successful. I am gratified that the administration has exhibited the necessary spirit of cooperation. I hope it continues.
Third, I believe it critical for us to keep in mind, as we consider the various national health insurance plans which have been proposed, that they must be judged by their effectiveness in dealing with the entire range of problems which beset health care in America. The health care needs of the elderly, with whom this subcommittee is primarily concerned, and of all other groups in America, will only be satisfied when we insure that benefits are adequate to cover individual health needs; that health costs are financed equitably; that costs are kept under control; and that all the health services our people need are actually available to all our citizens, regardless of geographic location or economic status, in well-planned, rational, institutional, and organizational form.
We cannot immediately legislate the total reform of our health system which should be our ultimate goal. But we should keep that ideal goal in mind, and aim to achieve it in the near future.
The fourth and final point I wish to make goes to the immediate concern of these hearings: The effect on the elderly of the administration's health insurance proposal. In our consideration of national health insurance, we must hold firm to a basic premise that we will not accept cutbacks in health care for the elderly.
Regretfully, examination of the administration's proposal reveals that it violates this standard. The administration's proposal on balance would actually lessen the health care coverage which our elderly now receive under Medicare. These cutbacks come in the form of new deductible and coinsurance charges which would force the elderly to pay more out-of-pocket costs for health care now covered by Medicare.
MEDICAL CARE BILL PER AGED PERSON AND
PAID FOR BY MEDICARE
Source: Social Security Administration