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MEDICARE REFORM LAWOn December 8, 2003, President George W. Bush signed into law the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003. This landmark legislation provides seniors and people living with disabilities with a prescription drug benefit, more choices and better benefits under Medicare, the most significant improvement to senior health care in nearly 40 years.
Full Text of Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003
Sponsor InformationThe recently enacted Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 authorizes the implementation of the Medicare-Approved Drug Discount Card Program. This program is designed to help people with Medicare with the cost of prescription drugs. Individuals will be able to enroll in a Medicare-approved prescription drug discount program beginning in spring of 2004. A key part of the Medicare-approved prescription drug discount card program is a subsidy of up to $600 a year for eligible lower-income beneficiaries. Individuals whose income is less than $12,124 each year or married couples whose income is less than $16,363 may qualify for this special help.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services AnnouncementHHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson announced on December 10, 2003 an interim final regulation for the Medicare Prescription Drug Discount Card Program, designed to help people who are covered by Medicare with the cost of prescription drugs. Individuals will be able to enroll in a Medicare approved prescription drug discount program beginning in spring of 2004.
The regulation outlining the new drug discount card program is the first action resulting from the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003, signed by President Bush just two days earlier. The speed of this regulatory action is unprecedented, and points to the importance of eliminating the practice of Medicare beneficiaries having to pay full price for prescription drugs.