March 05,2001

Grassley on the Medicare Meeting at the White House

Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Committee on Finance, this afternoon met with President Bush and other key members of Congress at the White House to discuss action on Medicare. Grassley made the following comment after that event.

"It was a productive meeting, and it was a significant step toward saving Medicare. Today we established that we're united in our goal to accomplish Medicare legislation this year. We know what we have to do. Now our mission is working out how to do it. A first step is to craft Medicare principles together to help guide us through this process.

"We know we have to update Medicare to give older Americans access to the latest medical innovations. We have to manage Medicare so doctors don't get bogged down in unnecessary paperwork. We also have to make sure we squeeze each Medicare dollar for all of its worth.

"We have to put together a prescription drug benefit that's universal, affordable and flexible enough to meet a lot of different needs. A one--fits-all approach to prescription drug coverage won't work. Older Americans and their doctors have to choose what medicines best fit their needs, and patients shouldn't have to face high costs out of their pockets.

"I'm forecasting a Medicare-heavy spring and summer in Congress."