1 in 2 seriously ill Medicare enrollees struggles with bills

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new study finds that more than half of seriously ill Medicare enrollees say they face hardships paying their medical bills.

Prescription drugs are the leading problem, followed by hospital bills, ambulance rides and emergency room visits.

Researchers who wrote Monday’s report in the journal Health Affairs said they were surprised by their survey findings, since Medicare is considered relatively good coverage.

Major legislation to rein in the costs of medicines for seniors has advanced this year in Congress, but it’s unclear if it can pass because the House and Senate are far apart.

House Democrats want Medicare to directly negotiate prices for the costliest drugs — a nonstarter for Senate Republicans.

President Donald Trump wants a bill, but the House impeachment inquiry has overshadowed legislative efforts.

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