April 19,2001

Grassley Announces Hearing on Medicare, Prescription Drugs

Hearing: “Finding the Right Fit: Medicare, Prescription Drugs and Current Coverage Options”

Date/time: Tuesday, April 24, 2001, at 10 a.m.

Location: 215 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Description: Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Committee on Finance, and other members ofCongress apply the credo “first, do no harm” to the prospect of adding a prescriptiondrug benefit to Medicare. Grassley said, “We must ensure, to the greatest extentpossible, that any new benefit does not threaten the existing prescription drugcoverage that many older Americans already enjoy today.” Toward that end,Grassley will convene a hearing: (1) to examine existing prescription drug optionsfor Medicare-eligible beneficiaries through retiree health plans, the Medicare+Choiceand Medigap programs, and state options such as Medicaid and State PharmacyAssistance Programs, (2) to evaluate the most recent data on the number ofMedicare-eligibles who currently have prescription drug benefits, and (3) to discussthe implications of a new Medicare drug benefit on beneficiaries and their existingcoverage.

Witness List

A Panel Consisting of:
Steven M. Coppock, Principal, Hewitt Associates, LLC., Rowayton, Conn.

Karen Ignagni, President and Chief Executive Officer, American Association of Health Plans,Washington, D.C.

Dr. Deborah J. Chollet, Senior Fellow, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., Washington, D.C.

Dr. Raymond C. Sheppach, Executive Director, National Governors Association, Washington, D.C.

Dr. Stephen Crystal, Research Professor; Chair, Division on Aging; Director, AIDS Research Group;Associate Director for Research, Center for State Health Policy, Institute for Health, Health CarePolicy, and Aging Research, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J.