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President Calls on Congress to "Finish the Job" - Pass a Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit for Seniors

President Bush visited Englewood Neighborhood Center in Orlando, Florida to meet with seniors and discuss his commitment to improving Medicare by adding prescription drug coverage and enabling seniors to have more choices. The President said both Houses of Congress were nearing final passage of the biggest improvements in senior health care in nearly 40 years, and he urged Congress to "finish the job." Medicare legislation now being considered in Congress will give seniors prescription drug coverage, better benefits-including expanded coverage for preventive medicine, and more choices in healthcare.

To underscore the President's commitment to Medicare reform, senior Administration officials spoke today to senior citizens in five major cities across the country about the importance of passing a Medicare prescription drug benefit. The President's remarks were video simulcast live to the meetings with these senior officials, which were held in:

  • Phoenix: Tom Scully, Administrator, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
  • Denver: Dr. Elias Zerhouni, Director, National Institutes of Health
  • Philadelphia: Dr. Mark McClellan, Commissioner, Food and Drug Administration
  • Cleveland: Dr. Julie Gerberding, Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Dallas: Dr. Richard Carmona, Surgeon General of the United States Five Ways Seniors Will Benefit From a Medicare Prescription Drug Bill

Legislation to reform Medicare and give seniors access to prescription drug coverage is currently being considered in Congress. While differences still remain between the House and Senate passed versions, there is bipartisan agreement on a number of important benefits for seniors. It is time for Congress to finish the job so seniors can get help paying for the medicines they need.

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