Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #126--March 14, 2002

CAAR (Current Awareness in Aging Research) is a weekly email report produced by the Center for Demography of Health and Aging at the University of Wisconsin-Madison that helps researchers keep up to date with the latest developments in the field. For more information, including an archive of back issues and subscription information see:

http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/cdha/caar.html

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I. Data:

1. MEPS METHODOLOGY REPORT, STATISTICAL BRIEF:

A. "Projecting National Medical Expenditure Survey Data: A Framework for MEPS Projections," by John F. Moeller, Steven B. Cohen, Edward Hock, Devi Katikineni, Patrick Purcell, Brian Rowland, Thomas Selden, Marie N. Stagnitti, and Daniel Zabinski (US Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Methodology Report #13, AHRQ Pub. No. 02-0009, 2002, HTML and .pdf format, 22p.)

Abstract:

This report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) describes the procedures used to project data from the 1987 National Medical Expenditure Survey (NMES) household survey to future years. The 1987 NMES, sponsored by the National Center for Health Services Research, AHRQ's predecessor agency, provided extensive information on health expenditures by or on behalf of American families and individuals, the financing of these expenditures, and use of services. NMES data have been"aged" based on more recent household population estimates from government sources and data from the National Health Accounts of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The NMES data were released in public use data sets projected to the years 1996 and 2005. This report describes the categories of expenditures and payment sources in the projected data, the population and expenditure reweighting procedures, and alignment of the 1987 NMES to the 1987 National Health Accounts.

http://www.meps.ahcpr.gov/PrintProducts/PrintProdShowNew.asp?PubID=148

Click on the links to .pdf or HTML versions at the bottom of the abstract.

B. "Access and Experiences Regarding Medical Care, Fall 2000" (US Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, Medical Expenditure Panel Statistical Brief #2, March 2002, HTML and .pdf format, 15p.).

Abstract:

The quality of the health care received by Americans is an issue of public policy concern for several reasons. First, the level of quality of the health care delivery system affects the capacity to provide timely, accessible, effective and efficient medical care to the population in need of services. Secondly, estimates of quality are vital to evaluate the costs and outcomes of health care delivery and to help identify potential areas where improvements are necessary. Finally, all components of the population may not be receiving care equally. Following these population subgroups over time can provide information about whether greater equity has been achieved or whether serious gaps remain. A self-administered questionnaire was added to the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) to collect information on health care utilization, access, health status and the quality of health care received. The quality of care measures were taken from an AHRQ-sponsored instrument, the Consumer Assessments of Health Plans (CAHPS). The questionnaire was administered in late 2000 and early 2001. All of the questions refer to events experienced in the last 12 months. This MEPS Statistical Brief presents preliminary findings based on the data obtained from the self-administered questionnaire.

http://www.meps.ahcpr.gov/PrintProducts/PrintProdShowNew.asp?PubID=149

Click on the links to .pdf or HTML versions at the bottom of the abstract.

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II. Reports and articles:

2. SSA OFFICE OF POLICY REPORT: "State Statistics as of December 2000" (US Social Security Administration Office of Policy, December 2001, HTML and .pdf format). "Fact sheets with Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Income (OASDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and earnings and employment data arranged by state and region. There is one fact sheet (2 pages) for each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands."

http://www.ssa.gov/statistics/state_fact_sheets/index.html
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3. MEDPAC REPORT: "Report to the Congress: Medicare Payment Policy," US Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, March 2002, .pdf format, 179p.).

http://www.medpac.gov/publications/congressional_reports/Mar02_Entire%20report.pdf

For more information on MEDPAC see:

http://www.medpac.gov/
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4. AARP REPORT: "Perceptions of a Medicare Rx Plan Among the Public Aged 45+," by Jeffrey Love (AARP, March 2002, .pdf format, 17p.).

Abstract:

AARP polling among its members and the public has consistently found that all age groups consider a prescription drug benefit to be an important part of the Medicare program. Yet, middle aged and older Americans are very conscious of what this benefit might cost. This survey measures their reactions to the cost of a possible Medicare prescription plan, and suggests that any plan that costs beneficiaries more than they currently pay will receive little support. The data contained in this survey was collected for AARP by Reed Haldy McIntosh through the Market Facts Telenation omnibus survey conducted March 1 through 3, 2002. For the survey, 885 persons aged 45+ were interviewed.

http://research.aarp.org/health/medicare_rx_1.html

Click on "pdf" and then "Download or view" at the bottom of the .pdf page for full text.
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5. _FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF ST. LOUIS REVIEW_ ARTICLE: "Not Your Father's Pension Plan: The Rise of 401K and Other Defined Contribution Plans?" by Leora Friedberg and Michael T. Owyang (Vol. 84, No. 1, January/February 2002, .pdf format, p. 23-34).

http://www.stls.frb.org/docs/publications/review/02/01/23-34Friedberg.pdf

Supporting data (Microsoft Excel format) for this article can be found at:

http://www.stls.frb.org/docs/publications/review/02/01/0201mo.xls

or at:

http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/

and search for Study No. 1253.
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6. DHHS OIG OEI REPORTS:

A. "Excessive Medicare Reimbursement for Albuterol" (US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, Office of Evaluations and Inspections OEI-03-01-00410, March 2002, .pdf format, 19p.).

Abstract:

This report examines the pricing of albuterol, an inhalation drug covered by the Medicare program. It is part of a series of reports that the OIG produced concerning Medicare payments for prescription drugs. The OIG compares the amount Medicare reimburses for this drug to the prices available to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and acquisition cost for suppliers. Medicare and its beneficiaries would save $264 million a year if albuterol were reimbursed at the median price paid by VA; and between $226 million and $245 million a year if it were reimbursed at prices available to wholesalers and suppliers. The OIG recommended several options that CMS could use to reduce excessive reimbursement amounts for this drug.

http://oig.hhs.gov/oei/reports/oei-03-01-00410.pdf

B. "Excessive Medicare Reimbursement for Ipratropium Bromide" (US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, Office of Evaluations and Inspections OEI-03-01-00411, March 2002, .pdf format, 21p.).

Abstract:

This report examines the pricing of ipratropium bromide, an inhalation drug covered by the Medicare program. It is part of a series of reports that the OIG has produced concerning Medicare payments for prescription drugs. In this report, the OIG compares the amount Medicare reimburses for ipratropium bromide to the prices available to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and acquisition cost for suppliers. The OIG found that Medicare and its beneficiaries would save $279 million a year if ipratropium bromide were reimbursed at the median price paid by VA; and between $223 million and $262 million a year if it were reimbursed at prices available to suppliers. The OIG recommended several options that CMS could use to reduce excessive amounts for this drug.

http://oig.hhs.gov/oei/reports/oei-03-01-00411.pdf
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7. AOA--PROPOSED CHANGES TO NATIONAL OMBUDSMAN REPORTING SYSTEM (NORS): The US Administration on Aging has released proposed changes to the national long-term care ombudsman system (HTML and .pdf format).

http://www.aoa.gov/notices/2002/LTCO-01.html
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8. IRPP ARTICLE: "The Bright Side: A Positive View on the Economics of Aging," by Marcel Merette (Institute for Research on Public Policy [Montreal, Quebec, Canada], _Choices_, Vol. 8, No. 1, March 2002, .pdf format, 28p.). To view the report summary, and to download the electronic full-text of the report, go to:

http://www.irpp.org/choices/archive/vol8no1.htm

Click on "download entire study (PDF)" to access the report.

For more information on IRPP:

http://www.irpp.org/
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9. _BMJ_ NEWS ROUNDUP: "Help the Aged accuses NHS of discrimination," by Lynn Eaton (_British Medical Journal_ News Roundup, Vol. 324, No. 7337, HTML and .pdf format, p. 564).

http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/324/7337/564/c
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10. _LANCET_ POLICY AND PEOPLE: "Germany brings in generic-drug plan in a bid to cut costs," by Claudia Orellana (_Lancet_ Policy and People, Vol. 359, No. 9309, Mar. 9, 2002, HTML and .pdf format, p. 862).

HTML:

http://www.thelancet.com/journal/vol359/iss9309/full/llan.359.9309.news.20294.5

.pdf

http://pdf.thelancet.com/pdfdownload?uid=llan.359.9309.news.20294.5&x=x.pdf
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11. _JAMA_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT, CALL FOR PAPERS:

A. "Racial Disparities in the Quality of Care for Enrollees in Medicare Managed Care," by Eric C. Schneider, Alan M. Zaslavsky, and Arnold M. Epstein (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 287, No. 10, Mar. 13, 2002, p. 1288-1294).

http://jama.ama-assn.org/issues/v287n10/abs/joc11037.html

B. "Aging in the 21st Century: A Call for Papers," by Margaret A. Winker (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 287, No. 10, Mar. 13, 2002, HTML and .pdf format, p. 1326).

http://jama.ama-assn.org/issues/v287n10/ffull/jed20010.html
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12. _NEJM_ ARTICLE ABSTRACTS:

A. "Exercise Capacity and Mortality among Men Referred for Exercise Testing," by Jonathan Myers, Manish Prakash, Victor Froelicher, Dat Do, Sara Partington, and J. Edwin Atwood (_New England Journal of Medicine_, Vol. 346, No. 11, p. 793-801).

http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/abstract/346/11/793

B. "Compliance among Pharmacies in California with a Prescription-Drug Discount Program for Medicare Beneficiaries," by Joy H. Lewis, Matthias Schonlau, Jorge A. Munoz, Steven M. Asch, Mayde R. Rosen, Hannah Yang, and Jose J. Escarce (_New England Journal of Medicine_, Vol. 346, No. 11, p. 830-835).

http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/short/346/11/830
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13. MEDSCAPE ARTICLE: Note Medscape requires free registration before providing articles. "A New Therapeutic Target in Alzheimer's Disease Treatment: Attention to Butyrylcholinesterase," by Nigel H. Greig, Tada Utsuki, Qian-sheng Yu, Xiaoxiang Zhu, Harold W. Holloway, TracyAnn Perry, Bong Lee, Donald K. Ingram, and Debomoy K. Lahiri (_Current Medical Research and Opinion_, Vol. 17, No. 3, 2001, p. 159-165, via Medscape).

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/424604
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14. AARP PRIME TIME RADIO: The following AARP _Prime Time Radio_ interviews (covering Jan. 22 through Feb. 12, 2002, are now available (RealPlayer plug-in or helper application required, interviews run between about 24 and 30 minutes).

Jan. 22, 2002

New Rules on Taxes & Retirement Savings
Secrets of Aging Revealed!

Feb. 5, 2002

Ethical Wills
Rx Drugs the Medicine, Chemistry and more...

Feb. 12, 2002

Nuala O'Faolain
Older People Protecting the Homeland

http://www.aarp.org/ontheair/ptrtopics.html

Scroll to the stories of your choice.
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15. _FORBES_ ARTICLE: Note: _Forbes_ requires free registration before providing articles. "Aliens Under Attack: The estate tax can be rough on Americans. On noncitizen survivors, it's brutal," by Brigid McMenanim (_Forbes_, Mar. 18, 2002).

http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2002/0318/184.html

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III. Working Papers:

16. WHARTON [UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA] PENSION RESEARCH COUNCIL: "Company Stock and Retirement Plan Diversification," by Olivia S. Mitchell and Stephen P. Utkus (PRC WP 2002-04, March 2002, .pdf format, 70p.).

Abstract:

This paper explores the risks and benefits of holding company stock in employer-sponsored defined contribution (DC) retirement plans. We address three questions: (1) What is the role and function of company stock in such plans? (2) Who might be affected by enhanced portfolio diversification in such plans? and (3) What mechanisms exist, or might be developed, to enhance portfolio diversification if more diversification were deemed useful? Firms offer company stock within DC plans in an effort to enhance economic performance, though evidence is mixed on productivity gains from stock ownership. We demonstrate that concentrated stock positions arise most often in larger firms DC plans where sponsors direct employer contributions and restrict diversification. Stock concentration also arises because participants systematically underestimate the risk of employer stock and over-rely on its past performance in making investment decisions. In a retirement system with concentrated stock positions, there will always be some participants who forfeit DC plan savings to firm bankruptcy. Encouraging plan diversification mitigates this risk, but it could also induce some companies to redirect plan contributions to other forms of stock compensation or to replace stock contributions with cash compensation. We conclude by describing policy tools that might be used to encourage diversification and discuss conditions for their effective implementation.

http://prc.wharton.upenn.edu/prc/PRC/WP/WP2002-4.pdf
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17. CESifo: "Financing Retirement in the European Union," by A. L. Bovenberg (CESifo [Center for Economic Studies and the Ifo Institute, Munich, Germany] Working Paper No. 643(1), January 2002, .pdf format, 27p.).

Abstract:

This paper explores how EU countries can address various challenges (including the aging of the population) affecting their systems of old-age income support. It presents two scenarios illustrating the most important uncertainties surrounding the major developments that affect the pension systems of the EU. To diversify these risks, EU governments should act on several fronts. In addition to the formation of human capital (especially that of children), employment (especially that of older workers) should be boosted. This calls for social insurance reform with more emphasis on individual saving schemes. Pension schemes should be more explicit about how they share demographic and other risks. Countries that currently rely heavily on public pay-as-you-go (PAYG) schemes should stimulate private pensions by gradually reducing PAYG benefits collected by high-income earners, by issuing new financial instruments, and by conducting intergenerational risk sharing through the tax system.

http://www.cesifo.de/orcl/dbssi/index.htm

Pass the mouse over the "Publications" red light and click on the "CESifo Working Papers." Then Scroll down to "643" for full text.

For more information on CESifo see:

http://www.cesifo.de/orcl/dbssi/index.htm

and click on CES or ifo.
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18. MCMASTER UNIVERSITY [HAMILTON, ONTARIO, CANADA] SEDAP:

A. "Baby-Boom Aging and Average Living Standards," by William Scarth and Malick Souare (Social and Economic Dimensions of Aging Population (SEDAP) McMaster University Working Paper No. 68, February 2002, .pdf format, 33p.).

http://socserv2.socsci.mcmaster.ca/~sedap/p/sedap68.pdf

B. "The Invisible Retirement of Women," by Lynn McDonald (Social and Economic Dimensions of Aging Population (SEDAP) McMaster University, Working Paper No. 69, February 2002, .pdf format, 63p.).

Abstract:

In tracing the history of retirement in Canada it is evident that retirement is a social institution that reflects the social forces that defined the 20th century--the rise of industrialism, the devastation of the Great Depression and World War II, the growth of welfare, economic globalization, the spread of mass unemployment and the fiscal crisis of the welfare state. It is also the history of men's retirement, not women's retirement. With the increase in the labour force participation rates of women, it is only recently that retirement has become a meaningful concept to apply to some women. Indeed, the concept of retirement has no particular meaning outside of paid labour and pension policy. It also has little meaning in the context of serial employment over a lifetime. By employing a gendered relations approach to the history of retirement in Canada it rapidly becomes evident that retirement is not a concept one would readily apply to women over the course of its early development. Preceded by "stepping down", retirement in most historical accounts means leaving the paid labour force with a pension, the latter factor making labor force withdrawal economically feasible. In reviewing women's behaviour patterns in relation to men's from pre-industrial times to the 1960s, the most that can be said is that women were invisible in the development of retirement because its evolution into a social institution occurred within the context of the labor market where women were least likely to be found. Women's retirement was tied to the breadwinner model of the family, a model embedded in the Annuities Act of 1908 and operationalized in the administration of the Old Age Pension Act of 1927. In tracing the history of retirement it seems clear that retirement was a social institution developed mainly for men. Women were, at most, ancillary to the process. An analysis of the history of women's retirement is important for many reasons. The history of women and retirement indicates that a model of women's retirement must be driven by theory that, at minimum, takes into account gender relations and the concomitant gender system as it changes over time. Such a model might help to explain why women have spent the last twenty years playing "pension catch-up" to men, or might explain how the progressive erosion of the breadwinner model is likely to affect women's retirement in the future.

http://socserv2.socsci.mcmaster.ca/~sedap/p/sedap69.pdf
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19. EERC: "Pension Reform in Russia: A General Equilibrium Approach," by Artem Kuznetsov and Oleg Ordin (Economics Education and Research Consortium [Russia], 2001, .pdf format, 35p.).

Abstract:

This paper uses a classic, overlapping generation model to analyze the optimal transition of the Russian economy from a PAYG pension system to a funded pension system. The transition is associated with the accumulation of social capital gained by increased contributions to the pension system. The analysis of the two-period model defines the optimal rule for the choice of the present value of the pension package as a function of aggregate capital stock in the economy. In the numerical simulation, the large-scale dynamic model of the Russian economy is used to compare the welfare efficiency of three transition scenarios. All the scenarios assume that the economy shifts from a steady state with a PAYG pension system to a steady state with funded pensions though the speed of transition differs among the scenarios. The analysis suggests that transition to a funded pension system produces social welfare gains and allows one to choose the efficient transition trajectory. However, Pareto-improving transition is not achievable in the model since some age cohorts have to pay greater contributions to the pension system in order to initiate the accumulation of social capital.

http://www.eerc.ru/publications/workpapers/WP_01-02e.pdf

More information about EERC:

http://www.eerc.ru/wieerc/default.htm
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20. INSTITUTE FOR THE STUDY OF LABOR (IZA) [University of Bonn, Germany]:"Estimating the Effect of Income on Health and Mortality Using Lottery Prizes as Exogenous of Variation in Income," by Mikael Lindahl (IZA Discussion Paper No. 442, February 2002, .pdf format, 51p.).

Abstract:

A vast literature has established a strong positive association of income with health status and a negative association with mortality. This paper studies the effects of income on health and mortality, using only the part of income variation that is due to a truly exogenous factor: the monetary lottery prizes of individuals. The findings are that higher income causally generates good health and that this effect is of similar magnitude as when traditional estimation techniques are used. A 10 percent increase in income increases good health by about 0.01-0.02 standard deviations.

ftp://ftp.iza.org/dps/dp442.pdf

More information on IZA:

http://www.iza.org/

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IV. Journal Tables of Contents (check your library for availability):

21. American Journal of Sociology (Vol. 107, No. 2, September 2001). Note 1: Full electronic text (.pdf format) may be available at the site. Check your organization's library. Note 2: Full electronic text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for availability of this database and this issue.

http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/AJS/journal/contents/v107n2.html
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22. INGENTA Tables of Contents: INGENTA provides fee based document delivery services for selected journals.

A. Point your browser to:

http://www.ingenta.com/

B. click on "Search Options"
C. Type the Journal Name in the "Publication title" search box and click the radio button "Words in Title"
D. View the table of contents for the issue noted.

Demography (Vol. 39, No. 1, 2002). Note: Full electronic text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and this issue.

Health and Social Work (Vol. 27, No. 1, 2002). Note: Full electronic text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and this issue.

International Journal of Ageing and Human Development (Vol. 53, No. 4, 2001).

Research on Aging (Vol. 24, No. 2, 2002). Note: Full electronic text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library and EBSCO Host Academic Search Elite database. Check your library for the availability of these databases and this issue.
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23. AMEDEO MEDICAL LITERATURE: Note: "AMEDEO has been created to serve the needs of healthcare professionals, including physicians, nurses, pharmacists, administrators, other members of the health professions, and patients and their friends. They can easily access timely, relevant information within their respective fields... All AMEDEO services are free of charge. This policy was made possible thanks to generous unrestricted educational grants provided by AMGEN, Berlex, Eisai, Glaxo Wellcome, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche, and Schering AG."

A. Osteoporosis: Literature for the week of Mar. 12, 2002:

http://www.amedeo.com/medicine/ost.htm

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of Mar. 12, 2002:

http://www.amedeo.com/medicine/ad.htm

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of Mar. 12, 2002:

http://www.amedeo.com/medicine/pd.htm

AMADEO Literature Guide:

http://www.amedeo.com/index.htm

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V. Funding Opportunities:

24. NIH:

A. "Human Subjects Enhancements Research Program" (US National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with several other agencies, RFA-OD-02-003, Mar. 5, 2002). For more information see:

http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-OD-02-003.html

B. "Basic Research on Mesenchymal Stem Cell Biology (US National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with one other agency, RFA-HL-02-018, Mar. 6, 2002). For more information see:

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-HL-02-018.html

C. "Innovative Technologies for Enhancing Function For Individuals With Disabilities (US National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with several other agencies, PA02-071, Mar. 4, 2002). For more information see:

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-02-071.html

D. "Methodology and Measurement in the Behavioral and Social Sciences" (US National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with several other agencies, PA-02-072, Mar. 7, 2002). For more information see:

http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-02-072.html

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VI. Employment:

25. AOA EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY: OS-02-043 GS-301-13/13 Program Specialist (Community Based Long Term Care). For more information see:

http://www.aoa.gov/jobs/2002/OS-02-043.html

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VII. Legislation Information Updates:

26. US SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE HEARING TESTIMONY: "The Administrations FY 2003 Budget Proposals for Prescription Drugs," a hearing held Mar. 7, 2002).

Hearing testimony (.pdf format):

http://finance.senate.gov/sitepages/hearing030702.htm
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27. US SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON AGING: "The Economic Downturn & Its Impact on Seniors: Stretching Limited Dollars in Medicaid, Health and Senior Services," a hearing held Mar. 14, 2002.

Hearing testimony:

http://aging.senate.gov/hr79.htm
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28. US HOUSE COMMITTEE ON WAYS AND MEANS, SUBCOMMITTEE ON HEALTH: "On Medicare Supplemental Insurance," a hearing held Mar. 14, 2002.

Hearing testimony:

http://waysandmeans.house.gov/health/107cong/hl-14wit.htm

Jack Solock
Data Librarian--Center for Demography and Ecology and Center for
Demography of Health and Aging
4470 Social Science
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, WI 53706
608-262-9827
jsolock@ssc.wisc.edu