George W. Bush 2000 On The Issues
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package is outdated, covering neither prescription drugs nor other routine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
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
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- Medicare’s benefit package is outdated, covering neither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
- 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
Position Proposal & Speech
Source: George W. Bush for President 2000 Web Site