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

June 6, 2003

President Outlines Goals for Medicare

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President's Remarks
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In the coming weeks and months, I will be working with the Congress to strengthen and improve our Medicare system. For nearly four decades, Medicare has been the binding commitment of a caring society. We must renew that commitment by providing our seniors with the preventive care and new medicines that are transforming health care in our country. We must protect seniors from high medical costs that can rob them of their savings. And we must place patients and their doctors at the center of every health care decision.

My goal is to give seniors more choices and better benefits under Medicare including a long-awaited prescription drug benefit. Those who like the current Medicare system should be able to stay in it and also receive help with prescription drug costs. Those who want better coverage should have access to an enhanced fee-for-service Medicare program similar to the health care coverage available to every federal employee, including every Member of Congress. Seniors should have the same types of choices their representatives in Washington do. And seniors who want the benefits of managed care plans including prescription drug coverage should have that choice as well.

I will press for a Medicare reform package that meets these goals, and affirms our commitment to our seniors. The budget I submitted, and Congress agreed to, commits an additional 400 billion dollars to make this goal a reality.

For years, leaders of both political parties have talked about strengthening Medicare and adding a prescription drug benefit for seniors. The time for action is now. Please make your voice heard, so that we can make sure our seniors enjoy every bit of the healing power of modern medicine.

Thank you.

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