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Medicare battle looms as costs keep climbing

Wall Street Journal (subscription required), October 29, 2008

Democratic lawmakers in Congress are girding for a major battle over Medicare in 2009 that could result in substantial changes, including cuts in payments to private insurers that offer Medicare coverage and a new right for the federal government to negotiate drug prices. Pressure to act on Medicare is rising as the program grabs a growing share of the federal budget. Medicare spending hit $431.5 billion in 2007, nearly doubling in just seven years, according to the trustees of the Medicare trust funds.