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Understanding The Medicare Modernization Act Of 2003

Medicare Modernization Act Is The Largest Expansion Of Medicare Since 1965


Updated October 16, 2006

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.

More About Medicare Modernization Act

  • The Fact Sheet: Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003, from the White House.
  • Details of Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, highlights of changes to be phased-in through 2006, from U.S. Gov Info at About.
  • Medicare Moderization Act 2003, from Senior Health at About.
  • Medicare Information From Medicare.gov / The Official U.S. Government Site for People with Medicare

  • Your Medicare Coverage
  • Your Medicare Benefits: An explanation of Part A and Part B benefits (CMS Publication #10116)
  • Guide to Medicare's Preventive Services (CMS Publication #10110)
  • Medicare & You 2006 (pdf)
  • Related Resources

  • Medicare Information / Medicaid Information
  • Medicare 2006: Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Coverage / Drug Card
  • How To Lower Your Prescription Drug Costs
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