The Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act was repealed in 1989. The details of the bill have long been forgotten although the lessons that politicians have learned from it has not. Senior Citizens make up the largest voting block of the American public and even though the bill did not cause Medicare recipients to pay more than they would for private insurance, recipients feared that their premiums would increase.
The Catastrophic Coverage Act enacted a prescription drug benefit for Medicare for the first time, but its stated goal, providing long-term coverage was not realized. Other problems caused congress to repeal the legislation a year and a half after it took effect.
Senior citizens felt that the new taxes for the act place an unfair burden on recipients, particularly people who had coverage from a previous or current employer. Others objected because the tax represented an undue burden of their income.
Regardless of the reasons for the opposition to the law, a grassroots effort and massive letter-writing campaign caused the congress to see the error of its ways. It also caused a lasting reluctance on the part of the government to add any existing coverage. The final prescription drug plan now in effect did not come into being until the beginning of the next century.
Older Americans should not worry about the return of a law that proved to be unpopular. Even the recent health care reform act did not touch Medicare coverage. Even if health care costs for others skyrocket because of the legislation, premiums for Medicare Parts B and D will not increase at a higher rate than they usually do.