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Currently there is legislation to give free medication benefits to those who receive Medicare Ester Tess Canja AARPs president-elect testified before the Senate Finance Committee that pharmaceutical therapies have become increasingly important in the treatment of virtually every major illness AARP Speaks to Congress I believe this would be good for the population as a whole because the elderly who rely solely on Medicare endure the effects of not having a medication benefit yet the potential a significant portion of our society the elderly and disabled to be less healthy and in the end cost more by requiring more doctor visits or hospitalization People who are already hard pressed to make ends meet the fixed income of Social Security may no longer be able to afford their necessary prescribed medications so they are pushed into HMOs in order to get prescription coverage Americans age 65 and older account for over a third of all drug spending but only represent about 12 of the population AARP April 1999 This could create And according to Alan Sager in The Elderly - Opposing Viewpoints Surprisingly the problem with US health care system is not lack of money Our 1987 bill for health care was 500 billion over one-third more than for defense Surely the money could be used to provide the necessary prescription benefit for the elderly First I would contact other organizations who have similar concerns trying to create a coalition of people and networks With the support of several established associations my new bill would have a much greater chance of being heard Also in utilizing the resources and connections of all groups involved a greater number of voters and congressmen can be reached Second in order to gain public support I would contact newspapers and television stations to get my message out to the locals I would attempt to generate excitement and even fear by placing ads and writing editorials addressing the
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