Presidential Candidates and Campaigns

 

George W. Bush On The Issues 2000

George W. Bush 2000 On The Issues

Medicare

Governor Bush will reform Medicare so that seniors have access to prescription drugs and modern medicine and have more control over their own health care.  Medicare is currently headed toward financial collapse, and its “one-size-fits-all” benefits package is outdated, covering neither prescription drugs nor other routine services such as annual physicals, vision tests and hearing aids.  Governor Bush will reform Medicare by providing seniors with a prescription drug benefit as well as the ability to choose their own modern, comprehensive health plan.  Governor Bush’s plan will cover all prescription drug expenses for low-income seniors, the full cost of Medicare premiums for low-income seniors, at least part of the premium cost for all seniors, and the cost of catastrophic Medicare costs for all seniors.

Governor Bush’s Approach


A Commitment That Must be Kept: Governor Bush’s Medicare plan will provide every senior with access to an affordable health plan that covers prescription drugs and other important benefits.  Medicare will cover the entire cost of a health plan, including prescription drug expenses, for low-income seniors. Governor Bush’s plan will guarantee seniors the benefits they are entitled to today, and will allow seniors the option, if they wish, to stay in their existing Medicare plan without any changes.  

Comprehensive Reform: Governor Bush’s plan will also modernize Medicare to better serve seniors and to ensure the system’s continued financial health.  Despite Medicare’s success in providing health care to seniors, the Medicare system has not kept pace with 21st century medicine, is burdened by bureaucratic complexity, and faces insolvency.  

 
  • Medicare’s benefit package is outdated, covering neither prescription drugs nor routine services such as annual physicals, vision tests and hearing aids.
     
  • Due to Medicare’s inefficient approval system for new technology, seniors are denied state-of-the-art care routinely covered by private insurers.
     
  • Medicare’s regulations are 3 times longer than the U.S. tax code, driving physicians from the program and encouraging waste and fraud.
     
  • The financial health of Medicare is in jeopardy.  Medicare will start to run huge deficits in 2010 and will be bankrupt by 2025.


    Governor Bush’s Medicare Proposal

    Governor Bush’s plan would build on the proposal of the recent Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare and bipartisan legislation in the Senate. These proposals are based on the health plan enjoyed by all federal employees and Members of Congress, who are able to choose from a wide range of comprehensive health plans that best fit their needs.  Specifically, Governor Bush’s proposal will:

     
  • Guarantee that every senior remains entitled to the same benefits they are entitled to today.  Seniors can choose to stay in their current Medicare system without any changes.

     
  • Give seniors the opportunity to select a plan that best fits their health care needs.  Medicare recipients will have a choice of health plans offering expanded benefits, including prescription drug coverage.  Seniors will be able to change their health plan annually if they are dissatisfied with their coverage.

     
  • Cover the full cost of health coverage including prescription drug coverage for seniors with incomes at or below 135% of poverty (currently $11,300 for individual seniors and $15,200 for couples).

     
  • Cover some of the cost of prescription drug coverage for individual seniors with incomes between 135% of poverty and 175% of poverty (currently $14,600 for individual seniors and $19,700 for couples).

     
  • Pay at least 25% of the premium costs for prescription drug coverage for all seniors.  

     
  • Cover any catastrophic Medicare expenses in excess of $6000 annually for all seniors.  

    Governor Bush will also introduce legislation to provide immediately $48 billion of direct support to states for four years.  This “Immediate Helping Hand” support will allow states to immediately:

     
  • Cover the full cost of prescription drugs for seniors with incomes at or below 135% of poverty (currently $11,300 for individual seniors and $15,200 for couples).

     
  • Cover some of the cost of prescription drugs for seniors with incomes between 135% of poverty and 175% of poverty (currently $14,600 for individual seniors and $19,700 for couples), and

     
  • Cover any prescription drug costs in excess of $6000 annually for all seniors.


    Position Proposal & Speech
     

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Source: George W. Bush for President 2000 Web Site

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