BENEFITS OF PRESCRIPTION DRUG BENEFIT PLAN -- (House of Representatives - January 28, 2004)
(Mr. KINGSTON asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. KINGSTON. Mr. Speaker, if you go into almost any group of 30 to 40 people and ask how many of you have someone in your family who has to take three or four pills a day, each and every day for the rest of their lives in order to stay active and stay comfortable and stay healthy, probably 70 percent of the hands in the room would go up, because that is the reality in 2004. If we wind back the clock to 1965 and ask that question, not many people would raise their hands, because we did not have the miracle pills then that we do now.
In 1965, when we started Medicare, we could not foresee this pharmaceutical revolution that we have now. That is why this Congress, under the leadership of George Bush, has put in a prescription drug benefit program in our Medicare reform package.
The plan works like this: This April, all seniors will get a 25 percent discount card that can be used in any pharmacy. Just walk in, a 25 percent savings. Then in the year 2006 you will get about a 50 percent cost reduction on your prescription drugs, on average.
Keep in mind, this is a voluntary program. It is not the greatest thing in the world, but it certainly is a huge step forward, and I think seniors will really enjoy this benefit. I am glad the President took this leadership.