Medicare Modernization

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On December 8, 2003, President Bush signed into existence the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act (CMS, 2003). This Act over the years is intended to provide prescription drug benefits to seniors. It will also provide subsidies to insurance companies, health maintenance organizations, and would allow private plans to compete with Medicare (CMS, 2003).

Why were changes to Medicare deemed necessary?

The changes to Medicare where deemed necessary, because many seniors and elderly began to find that prescription medication necessary for their well being was out of reach due to costs (CMS, 2003). An overhaul of Medicare would reverse this; create affordable prescription medication, better and more affordable healthcare plans. Another reason for Medicare modernization was to reduce the overall expense of Medicare, because at the rate it was going, it was estimated that Medicare would run out of funds around 2026 .

This bill would not only ensure that prescription medication was more affordable for seniors, but it would create competition, create choices for seniors, and would make Medicare more effective (CMS, 2003). This health policy aimed at providing $400 billion, which would help over 40 million seniors obtain prescription medication at an affordable price (Medicare, 2008). The prescription part of the bill, Medicare part D, began in 2006, and Medicare recipients pay a minimum of $35 per month, with a $250 deductible for prescriptions. The plan will pay 75 percent of costs up to $2,250 . Its intention is to modernize Medicare and provide 21st century care for our seniors (National Institute of Health Policy, 2002).

What are the main provisions of the new legislation? Do you think they accomplish the desired goals?

The main provisions of the new legislation are to provide affordable prescription medication to seniors; make Medicare more competitive; allow for private insurance companies to provide...
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