MEDICARE'S PRESCRIPTION DRUG BENEFIT -- (House of Representatives - March 04, 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, in 1965 if one asked a group of people how many in their family have to take five, six, seven pills a day just to survive, how many hands would be raised? Probably not many because in 1965 we did not have the miracle drugs that we have today. But today in almost any given audience if one asks that question, how many who have somebody in their family who have to take three or four or five pills a day, 80 percent of the hands go up.
That is why the Republican Party has added a prescription drug benefit to Medicare. It is a choice; it is an option. If you are in Medicare now and you love it as is, you do not have to do this, because this is voluntary. But if you want a 50 percent reduction in the cost of your prescription drugs, this is a plan that you should take a careful look at.
The volunteer plan starts in 2006. To bridge the gap in the meantime, all seniors this summer, if they want to, again, voluntarily, can buy a $30 discount card that will reduce the cost of drugs about 20 to 25 percent.
This is a significant step for better health care for our seniors and a major Medicare reform.