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Until now, the 42 million elderly and disabled people on Medicare have been paying for their own prescription drugs or going without them. That burden is supposed to be relieved in January by the new Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit, a plan the Bush Administration claims will cut drug costs for a typical beneficiary in half. But that's only if the beneficiary signs up, and there are at least 40 drug plans to choose from--all with different premiums, deductibles and co-payments. Despite the government's $250 million promotional campaign, there's so much confusion that one survey shows just 20% of those eligible are planning to sign up. Is the $700 billion Medicare expansion in trouble before it even begins? Will the price of drugs be affected at all? With enrollment starting today, we hear about widespread paralysis over personal decisions with life-long consequences.
  • Making News: Senate Votes for Iraq Updates, against Withdrawal Timetable
    With support for the war in Iraq fading fast, the Senate today passed a resolution calling for "significant transition to full Iraqi sovereignty" in 2006. Jim Kuhnhenn, Congressional Correspondent for Knight-Ridder newspapers, has more on resolutions introduced by Carl Levin (D-MI) and John Warner (R-VA) as well as a provision regarding torture, introduced by Republican John McCain of Arizona.
  • Reporter's Notebook: The Debate over Internet Governance
    The Internet was essentially invented by the US military and American educational institutions. Domain names and URL addresses are controlled by the US nonprofit Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. But at an international summit this week in Tunisia, the goal of spreading the benefits of communications technology to the developing world has been sidelined by international calls for shared control of 'net. Porter Bibb is Managing Partner at Media Tech Capital Partners, a private merchant bank specializing in new media and technology.

Medicare (1-800-MEDICARE)

Medicare Modernization Act of 2003

Medicare Drug Plan Finder (from CMS)

Kaiser Family Foundation on seniors and medicare drug benefit plan

World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers

Net Dialogue

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