For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
October 20, 2006
President Bush and Secretary Leavitt Discuss Medicare
In Focus: Medicare
11:04 A.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Secretary Leavitt and I are pleased to be here at this counter where seniors come to buy prescription drugs. And one of the interesting things that happens at this counter is that these decent folks are constantly reminding seniors that there is a cost-saving benefit, Plan D [sic]* in Medicare, available to them. It's a new plan, it just started last year. The Health and Human Services helped implement the plan, and millions of seniors are benefiting. Our seniors are saving money, they're getting better coverage. It's a plan that I'm real proud of.
We will continue to work to make it as good as it possibly can be. I really do want to thank these kind-hearted souls who say to a senior that you no longer -- poor seniors, particularly -- you no longer have to choose between food and medicine, because there's a new way forward. Our compassionate approach to health care is working for America's seniors. I want to thank you -- you want to say anything about the enrollment process?
SECRETARY LEAVITT: On November 15th, people can go through an open enrollment period. Eighty percent of seniors who are on this plan are satisfied with their plan, and if they're satisfied, they don't need to do anything. But over 80 percent will be able to find a plan that's cheaper if they want to, or that may, in fact, fit their particular situation.
We'll have people available at 1-800-MEDICARE, there will be people at pharmacies and at senior centers, and others that can help them around the country. This has been a big success, and we're going to get better at it. We're getting better at it every year; it'll be better this year than it was last, and it will be better the year after that, just like Medicare was in 1965. This is a very important American success story that we'll now build upon.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all very much, appreciate it.
END 11:06 A.M. EDT
* Medicare Part D Plan