OMB Transmits Medicare Reform Legislation to Congress
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March 20, 2000    Linda Ricci
    (202) 395-7254


Today, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) transmitted to the Congress statutory language for the President's plan to strengthen and modernize Medicare. The legislative proposal, the "Medicare Modernization Act of 2000," reflects Medicare reform proposals that were released in a detailed specifications document last June.

The Medicare Modernization Act of 2000 is the centerpiece of the Administration's efforts to modernize and strengthen the Medicare program to prepare it for the health, demographic, and financing challenges it faces in the 21st century. This legislation, if enacted, would: (1) make Medicare more competitive and efficient; (2) modernize and reform Medicare's benefits, including the provision of a long-overdue prescription drug benefit and the elimination of cost-sharing for preventive benefits; and (3) make an unprecedented long-term financing commitment to the program by dedicating over $400 billion to help finance the prescription drug benefit and extend the life of the Medicare Trust Fund. It also contains a reserve fund of $35 billion to add protections against catastrophic drug costs.

Statutory language for Medicare buy-in and cancer clinical trial provisions has already been conveyed to the Congress. These changes, combined with other program management and integrity initiatives in the President's FY 2001 budget, would further strengthen the program.

In transmitting this language, Director Lew stated, "The President looks forward to working with the Congress to modernize and strengthen Medicare this year. It is our hope that the submission of this language helps meet this important goal."


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