Medicare Modernization Act
President George W. Bush signed the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 into law on December 8, 2003. The long-awaited and historic changes to the Medicare system have supporters claiming it will "allow the biggest improvements in senior health care in nearly 40 years, and provide seniors with prescription drug benefits and more choices in health care". The President applauded Congress for keeping the promise to American seniors.
As Medicare recipients initially perked up at the news of finally getting a prescription plan, they scrambled to find concrete details. As specifics were revealed, it became apparent that many people were not satisfied with what the plan offers. Some seniors were outraged and felt betrayed by the AARP (American Association of Retired Persons), a group which supported the bill. As a symbol of protest some AARP members reportedly destroyed their membership cards. AARP leaders admit there are problems with the legislation but view it as a start.
Of those people voicing opposition, some fear the plan will not help seniors and disabled persons nearly enough, while others feel even more strongly it will serve to force drug prices to rise and preserve drug company profits. Some say it is better than nothing. The reality is each individual Medicare recipient will conclude, based on their income and out-of-pocket cost for prescription drugs, whether the benefit is significant.