December 08,2003

Baucus Hails Signing of Medicare Prescription Drug Legislation

Senator Played Leading Role in Drafting Legislation

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) U.S. Senator Max Baucus today joined President Bush and leadingmembers of the Senate and House at the signing of the $395 billion Medicare prescription druglegislation.

As ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, Baucus played a lead role throughoutthe creation of the Medicare Prescription Drug and Modernization Act, including being a keyparticipant in the House-Senate Medicare conference committee negotiations.

Baucus issued the following statement today after the President's signing of the Medicareprescription drug bill into law:

"I am honored to have joined President Bush at the signing of this remarkable Medicareprescription drug benefit legislation. I am also honored to have been accompanied by my Senateand House colleagues who helped to make this day possible, especially Senate Finance CommitteeChairman Chuck Grassley, Senator John Breaux, and Majority Leader Bill Frist.

Today is a historic day for our nation's seniors, for our future Medicare beneficiaries, and forthe landmark achievements that can be accomplished by working together. For the first time in ournation's history, seniors will have access to assistance with the high costs of prescription drugs.They will no longer have to choose between food and medicine because the medications they needare too expensive. And they will have better access to preventative medicine to help them livelonger and better lives.

A nation's character can be determined by they way they take care of their elderlypopulation. In 1965, our nation took the important, care giving step of providing health care to ourseniors through Medicare. And today we took the vitally necessary step of helping seniors withaccess to the prescription drugs they need.

I am proud and hono red to have been part of writing, negotiating, and passing of theMedicare Prescription Drug and Modernization Act. I am also proud that we did not allow thisopportunity to pass us by. With $400 billion on the table for a prescription drug benefit it wasimperative that we enact this bill into law this year.

I look forward to seeing the positive impacts this legislation will have on the healt h care ofour nation's seniors in the years to come.