I am pleased to report the House passed the long-awaited Medicare prescription drug package early Sunday morning. This legislation will help seniors pay for the high cost of prescription drugs, and seniors with low incomes will get the extra help they need. Every senior will have peace of mind knowing that they no longer have to fear the high costs of catastrophic illnesses. This bill will also bring about modernizations to Medicare and keeps it running for many years to come. The AARP, America’s leading seniors’ advocacy group, endorsed the Medicare bill earlier this week and praised its service improvements for our parents and grandparents. What the bill does:
• Provides immediate prescription drug savings up to 25% for seniors through discount cards • Establishes a voluntary prescription drug benefit plan that allows seniors to add drug coverage to traditional fee-for-service Medicare without any loss of current benefits • Gives our low-income seniors comprehensive pharmaceutical coverage • Covers the first physical exam for all seniors and encourages wellness screenings and disease management programs • Allows individuals to set aside tax-free savings for lifetime health care needs
The House has passed the way for two million Texas seniors who receive Medicare to have access to prescription drug benefits for the first time in the history of the Medicare program. We now anxiously await the bill’s fate in the Senate. Today, the Senate concluded debate and will hold votes sometime this evening. What’s On Tap for The Coming Weeks The House is in recess this week and next week. We will resume business December 8th to vote on appropriations bills. As always, thanks for your interest and input.
November 24, 2003