• Share
  • Read Later
A hearing of the House Commerce Committee was scheduled to explain the Republican plan to reduce Medicare spending by $270 billion, but the proceedings quickly deteriorated into more name-calling and sign-waving by members of both parties. GOP members installed an electronic "Medicare Countdown to Bankruptcy" clock ticking off the 197 million seconds until 2002, when the hospital fund is projected to go bust. House Democrats responded with signs reading "Republican Medicare Plan: $ Morally Bankrupt $," and "GOP: Get Old People." Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, meanwhile, unveiled what he called "a sensible solution" in contrast to "the radical and extreme plans proposed by the Republicans." Congressional correspondent Karen Tumulty says the Daschle plan, which aims to keep Medicare cuts down to $89 million, was more than a little vague. "There's no 'there' there. They could not tell us what premiums the typical Medicare recipient would be paying in the year 2002, and what costs would be borne by providers. This is something they would have hooted at the Republicans for doing." AARP ALERT: