Health care advocates experienced a moment of victory in August after the House of Representatives passed the comprehensive CHAMP Act.  As the Center for Medicare Advocacy reported, CHAMP redirected federal money from private insurance companies to promote access to health care for children, people with disabilities and older people.


Optimism as a result of the summer victory was diminished in the fall, however, when the Senate failed to include Medicare provisions in its version of the bill to reauthorize the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) and when President Bush vetoed the SCHIP legislation on October 3.


Congress has indicated that it will continue to fight for SCHIP expansion to protect the 9 million uninsured children in America.  Many members of the Senate also have expressed their determination to pass a Medicare bill that can be sent to the House of Representatives for conference and then on to the president for his signature. 


In fact, since January 2007 numerous bills have been introduced in the Senate that would make significant improvements for beneficiaries in the Medicare program.  These bills could, and should, be part of Medicare legislation to be considered by the Senate before the end of 2007.  Some of these bills would:







The Senate has the opportunity to continue the work it has done already through numerous hearings and through the introduction of these and other bills.  The Senate can and should enact meaningful Medicare reforms that enhance the program and that protect most the people for whom the program was designed – the older people and people with disabilities who rely on Medicare.


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