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Senators file bills to help elderly, fired

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WASHINGTON, Oct 08, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- U.S. senators Friday filed bills to help make healthcare insurance more affordable for the elderly and displaced workers.

Sen. John D. Rockefeller, D-W.Va., introduced legislation to make health care more affordable and accessible for workers who have lost their jobs when companies move factories overseas.

Known as the Trade Adjustment Assistance Health Coverage Improvement Act of 2004, Rockefeller's bill significantly broadens the scope of the Health Care Coverage Tax Credit, which was passed in 2002 to address the loss of health care for displaced workers.

Also, Sen. George Allen, R-Va., introduced a measure to let people to use their IRAs, 401(k), and 403(b) plans to buy long-term care insurance with pretax dollars at any age and without early withdrawal penalty.

"In 2010, baby boomers will begin to turn 65 years old and by 2030, all 77 million baby boomers will have reached retirement age and the over 65 population will have doubled," said Allen.

"If more people purchased private long-term care insurance, we could reduce Medicaid's future institutional care expenses by more than $40 billion each year, while giving those who are insured alternatives to nursing homes, including home care, adult day care, foster care and assisted living."

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.


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