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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
December 8, 2003

Statement on H.R. 1
Statement by the Press Secretary

On Monday, December 8, 2003, the President signed into law:

H.R. 1, the "Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003," which creates a new voluntary outpatient prescription drug benefit for all Medicare beneficiaries beginning in 2006; authorizes a Medicare-endorsed prescription drug card and additional assistance for low-income seniors beginning in 2004; establishes the Medicare Advantage program, which incorporates and expands on Medicare's current private insurance plan option; authorizes a limited demonstration project under which private health plans would compete against Medicare's traditional fee-for-service program; and makes a number of other changes related to Medicare, Medicaid, and other health related programs.


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