June 29, 1999


“In a nation bursting with prosperity, no senior should have to choose between buying food and buying medicine... My Medicare plan is credible, sensible, fiscally responsible. It will secure the health of Medicare while improving the health of our seniors. And we can achieve it.”
President Bill Clinton
June 29, 1999

Today, at the White House, President Clinton unveiled his plan to modernize and strengthen the Medicare program to prepare it for the challenges it faces in the 21st Century. This historic initiative would make Medicare more competitive and efficient; modernize and reform Medicare’s benefits, including the provision of a long-overdue prescription drug benefit and cost-sharing protections for preventive benefits; and make an unprecedented long-term financing commitment to the program that would extend the life of the Medicare trust fund until 2027. The President called on Congress to work with him to reach a bipartisan consensus on needed reforms this year.

Making Medicare More Competitive and Efficient. Since taking office, President Clinton has worked to pass Medicare reforms that have saved hundreds of billions of dollars and helped to extend the life of the Medicare trust fund from 1999 through 2015. Building on this success, his new plan:

Modernizing Medicare’s Benefits. The current Medicare benefits package does not include all the services needed to treat health problems facing the elderly and people with disabilities. To address this, the President’s plan:

Strengthening Medicare’s Financing for the 21st Century. The elderly population will double from almost 40 million today to 80 million over the next three decades, creating a need to strengthen Medicare financing. To accomplish this, the President’s plan dedicates 15% of the budget surplus to extend the life of the Medicare Trust Fund until at least 2027.

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