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Medicare
Rising health care costs are pushing Medicare toward an unsustainable long-term deficit nearly 5 times that of Social Security. Both candidates say their efforts to reduce health care costs will help stabilize Medicare. What few Medicare proposals they've made aren't sufficient to address the shortfall, health care experts say.

· Wants wealthy people who are enrolled in the Part D drug coverage program to pay more.

· Wants to reform the payment system so health care providers don't get paid when medical errors or mismanagement occurs.

· Favors importing low-cost prescription drugs from Canada.

"People like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett don't need their prescriptions underwritten by taxpayers. Those who can afford to buy their own prescription drugs should be expected to do so."

-- McCain *

·Would let government negotiate for Part D drug prices.

·Would increase use of generic drugs in Medicare.

·Wants to close the coverage gap known as the "doughnut" hole in Part D for reimbursement of prescription drugs.

·Favors eliminating subsidies paid to private Medicare Advantage plans.

·Wants to legalize importation of some prescription drugs.

"As president, I will reduce costs in the Medicare program by enacting reforms to lower the price of prescription drugs, ending the subsidies for private insurers in the Medicare Advantage program and focusing resources on prevention and effective chronic disease management."

-- Obama **




NEXT: Personal Taxes
Last updated October 29 2008: 12:15 PM ET
Source: *April 15, 2008, speech in Pittsburgh
**March 25, 2008, statement on Social Security and Medicare.trustees' annual report
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