The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document


President Bush believes the Nation has a moral obligation to fulfill Medicare’s promise of health care security for America’s seniors and people with disabilities. Medicare has provided this security to millions of Americans since 1965. However, as Medicare’s lack of prescription drug coverage demonstrates, Medicare is not keeping up with the rapid advances in medical care. Medical care this century holds the promise of improving and extending life through countless innovations. To ensure that Medicare provides a secure entitlement for access to modern health care, for seniors today and tomorrow, the President is proposing a framework for improving and modernizing Medicare.

Medicare needs better benefits, including a prescription drug benefit, like modern health insurance plans. Medicare’s outdated, "one-size-fits-all" benefit package does not cover prescription drugs and does not provide timely, consistent coverage for many modern technologies and preventive treatmentscare. It does not protect beneficiaries against the high costs of treating serious illnesses, and i. It imposes unnecessary regulatory burdens on providers and patients. As a result, seniors often do not receive appropriate, up-to-date treatment for their health problems. Most other insurance programs, including the program available to all Federal employees, provide reliable options for getting modern health insurance benefits. However, Medicare’s does not, however, and its options are actually becoming more limited.

The President believes that we must give seniors better options. He also believes that any improvements in Medicare should not force changes on today’s seniors who are satisfied with their current coverage. In addition, The President also believes that any changes in Medicare must truly be improvements in Medicare’s existing benefits.

Medicare is not financially secure for the retirement of the Baby Boom. The 77 million Americans who will be in Medicare by 2030 are counting on Medicare’s promised benefits. Yet Medicare’s fund for hospital insurance will face cash flow deficits beginning in 2016, and Medicare’s fund for its other benefits will likely require a doubling of beneficiary premiums and of Medicare’s claims on general revenues to remain solvent over the next 10 years. Medicare’s bifurcated accounting disguises the true fiscal health of Medicare and makes it difficult to plan ahead.

President Bush has worked with many members of Congress from both parties to develop a framework for improving aMedicare and making it secure. modernized Medicare program and for keeping Medicare’s benefits secure. Modernized Medicare includes an improved traditional fee-for-service plan, and improved health insurance plan options. The President’s framework for bipartisan legislation includes the following principles:

Table of Contents

Return to this article at:

Click to print this document