Congress Approves Bill Bolstering Medicare Patients’ Hospital Rights

The U.S. Senate unanimously approved legislation Monday night requiring hospitals across the nation to tell Medicare patients when they receive observation care but have not been admitted to the hospital. It’s a distinction that’s easy to miss until patients are hit with big medical bills after a short stay. The vote follows overwhelming approval in the U. S. House of Representatives in March. The legislation is expected to be signed into law by President Barack Obama, said its House sponsor, …

Brooke Astor’s Grandson Tells Senate Panel of Financial Abuse

The Senate Special Committee on Aging held one of its periodic hearings on financial abuse of older people the other day, this time inviting a relative involved in one of the more spectacular headline-making cases in recent years to testify. The grandson of socialite Brooke Astor, who blew the whistle on his father for plundering millions from his grandmother’s estate, told the Senate panel Wednesday that his grandmother’s greatest legacy may be the national attention focused on elder financial abuse. “While my grandmother …

Older Voters May Be Swing Factor in Key Senate Races

Older voters continue to lean Republican in this year’s Senate races, a new survey shows, but there have been significant shifts in seven battleground states from a comparable survey by the same organizations nearly two months ago. Overall, Republicans are on the cusp of gaining the six seats they need to take control of the Senate in the Nov. 4 election, shows the survey, conducted by YouGov of Palo Alto, Calif., for the New York Times/CBS News Battleground Tracker. Alaska. …

Why More Americans Are Voting Early

President Barack Obama voted in his former Chicago neighborhood on October 20 — more than two weeks before Election Day. “I’m so glad I can early-vote,” he said as he cast his ballot. “It’s so exciting. I love voting.” More than 2.6 million American already have joined him, according to official data. Election Day, in fact, has become Election Month. Political campaigns remain in full swing across the nation. Candidates continue to debate each other and run costly advertising campaigns. …

Arkansas Senate Candidates Brawl Over Medicare, Social Security

In their final scheduled debate, Arkansas’ two major-party candidates for the U.S. Senate vigorously slashed each other on Social Security and Medicare issues. “The game plans for both men were plain as day — [Rep. Tom] Cotton repeatedly tied [Sen. Mark] Pryor to President Obama, while Pryor said Cotton was beholden to big-money interests who didn’t share the same goals as Arkansans,” a visiting newspaper columnist wrote of the Oct. 14 exchange in Fayetteville. In contrast to recent Senate debates in other …

Virginia Senate Candidates Spar Over Social Security, Medicare

In their final scheduled debate before Election Day, Virginia’s two major-party candidates for the U.S. Senate sparred over their records on Social Security and Medicare while voicing similar views on steps needed to address their long-term financing. The debate, held in Richmond on Oct. 13 and televised statewide, was cosponsored by AARP Virginia, whose president, Bob Blancato, asked the candidates how they would protect the programs. “If you are 47 years old or younger … you are looking at getting …