WHO KNEW?

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FYI: Congress and the Bush administration made one of the most sweeping changes to the nation’s public health system since the Johnson era when they revamped Medicare to add a privately run drug benefit, but many of those most affected by the changes don’t realize what’s happened. Half of seniors surveyed by the Kaiser Family Foundation either said they didn’t know the Medicare reform bill had passed (31 percent) or said they thought it was voted down (18 percent). Kaiser was so shocked by the poll that they reran it following President Bush’s splashy bill signing ceremony last week. Nonetheless, four in ten seniors still either didn’t know about the bill or thought it had been rejected. Meanwhile, in the general population, only four in ten said they knew the bill had become law. [12/17/03]