GEORGE W. BUSH: Backs Freedom of Choice for Elderly
While outlining his Social Security proposals, Presidential candidate Texas Gov. George W. Bush (R) said he supported an approach to Medicare that would turn the program into "an arena for public and private competition," the New York Times reports. The proposal, drafted by a bipartisan commission, would provide beneficiaries with a voucher to use when choosing from public and private health plans. Bush maintained that the elderly should have a choice of health plans, including one providing prescription drug coverage. Bush also advocates providing Medicare drug coverage for low-income seniors. "Drugs are often more cost effective than surgery or hospitalization, with fewer risks and better results. And the picture gets better year by year," Bush said. "Ninety-eight percent of health plans today offer some form of prescription drug benefit. Yet Medicare does not. And this must change," he added (Mitchell/Dao, 5/16).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.