For Immediate Release
February 3, 2003
Fact Sheet: Keeping Our Promise to Americas Seniors
Keeping Our Promise to Americas Seniors
President Bush Signs the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003
Accomplishing Four Great Goals for Our Health Care System
The Medicare reforms signed by President Bush accomplish s four
great goals for our nations health care system.
- The new law provides prescription drug benefits under Medicare.
- President Bush said, Drug coverage under Medicare will allow
seniors to replace more expensive surgeries and hospitalizations with
less expensive prescription medicine. And even more important, drug
coverage under Medicare will save our seniors from a lot of worry. Some
older Americans spend much of their Social Security checks just on
their medications. Some cut down on the dosage, to make a bottle of
pills last longer. Elderly Americans should not have to live with those
kinds of fears and hard choices. And this new law will ease the burden
on seniors and give them the extra help they need.
- The new law gives older Americans more health care choices so they can find the health coverage that best meets their needs.
- As President Bush stated, Every senior needs to know: If you dont
want to change your current coverage, you dont have to change. Youre
the one in charge. If you want to keep your Medicare the way it is,
along with the new prescription benefit, that is your right. If you
want to improve benefits maybe dental coverage, or eyeglass coverage,
or managed care plans that reduce out-of-pocket costs youll be free to
make those choices as well. And when seniors have the ability to make
choices, health care plans within Medicare will have to compete for
their business by offering higher quality service. For the seniors of
America, more choices and more control will mean better health care.
- The new law makes Medicare smarter and more efficient providing
screenings that will enable doctors and patients to diagnose and treat
health problems early.
- According to President Bush, For years, our seniors have been
denied Medicare coverage for a basic physical exam. Beginning in 2005,
all newly-enrolled Medicare beneficiaries will be covered for a
complete physical. The Medicare system will now help seniors and their
doctors diagnose health problems early, so they can treat them early
and our seniors can have a better quality life. For example, starting
next year, all people on Medicare will be covered for blood tests that
can diagnose heart diseases. Those at high risk for diabetes will be
covered for blood sugar screening tests. Modern health care is not
complete without prevention so we are expanding preventative services
- The new law enables Americans to pay for out-of-pocket health care
expenses through new Health Savings Accounts.
- President Bush said, Our laws encourage people to plan for
retirement and to save for education. Now the law will make it easier
for Americans to save for their future health care as well. A Health
Savings Account is a good deal, and all Americans should consider it.
Every year, the money not spent would stay in the account and gain
interest tax-free, just like an IRA. And people will have an incentive
to live more healthy lifestyles because they want to see their Health
Savings Account grow.