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Medicare rates set to soar Lawmakers have yet to agree on how to curb the 52% increase in Medicare Part B premium, which will affect about 30% of the 52 million seniors enrolled in Part B next year, according to this article in The Wall Street Journal. Pressure on Congress is increasing, according to this article in The Wall Street Journal, because many state budgets also would be hard hit. The premium increase would impact about 9 million lower-income Medicare beneficiaries whose premiums are paid by state Medicaid programs, many of which are already stretched thin. The White House said it is aware of the concerns. "We share the goal of keeping Medicare’s premiums affordable, are exploring all options, and appreciate the interest and ideas of members of Congress,” says Katie Hill, a spokeswoman of the White House.  --The Wall Street Journal

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