The Medicare bill is described as the biggest change in the program since it was created in 1965 as part of Lyndon Johnson-s Great Society. The revision passed the Senate this morning on a vote of 54-to-44 with contentious debate right up to the last minute. Republicans say the legislation, which is regarded as a victory for President Bush, will reward them at the polls next year when the elderly start getting help to pay for prescription drugs. Democrats say the benefits are so limited that the voters will come to them. We hear debate on the legislation's merits and the politics from a healthcare reporter for Congressional Quarterly, the head of a centrist organization of GOP elected officials, and a Medicare specialist at the Brookings Institution.
Segment #2: Will US Tariffs Ignite International Trade War?
The European Union is threatening retaliation against American tariffs on imported steel. Now, because of US limits on imported clothing, there is fear that China might impose tariffs or buy fewer US Treasury bonds. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan says that what he calls -clouds of emerging protectionism- could -significantly erode- the global economy. Will President Bush face trade wars with America-s economic partners? We look at the outrage caused by US tariffs on steel, textiles and agricultural goods with the head of the Carnegie Endowment's China Program, the spokesman for the US Trade Representative and trade specialists on both sides of the issue.