Medicare Prescription Drug Bill

Background: How It Became Law and What's In It

The U.S. Senate on Nov. 25,  2003, passed the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003. The vote was 54 to 44. It followed the House's approval of the bill by a 220-215 vote on Nov. 22.  The legislation then went to President Bush, who signed the bill into law on Dec. 8.

The act helps seniors gain access to affordable prescription drugs, while giving hospitals the resources needed to help them keep their promises of care. It helps America's teaching hospitals continue training tomorrow's caregivers by restoring needed funding; maintains and strengthens much needed payments to rural hospitals; protects vital community services, from trauma to neonatal care, by placing restrictions on the development of specialty providers; offers relief for hospitals treating large numbers of Medicaid and uninsured patients through the Medicaid disproportionate-share hospital program; and much more.

The bill provides a total of approximately $25 billion over the next 10 years in relief to hospitals.


02/06/2006  "Medlearn Matters Article: Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage: Essential Information and Resources for Prescribing Health Care Professionals – The Eleventh in the Medlearn Matters Series on the New Prescription Drug Plans" SE0603


02/03/2006  CMS website: Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage Information for Providers 

02/01/2006  Tools for Health Care Professionals to Ease the Transition to the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit

08/08/2005  AHA Member Advisory: CMS Issues Medicare Rx Drug Coverage Kit

06/30/2004  Here's How You can Help Your Staff Help Patients Understand the New Discount Drug Cards  

January 2004 Medicare Beneficiary Fact Sheet from CMS and Medicare Prescription Drug Savings Calculator

12/18/2003  View AHA's summary of the legislation

12/08/2003  AHA statement issued when Bush signed the bill into law

11/23/2003  AHA statement on Senate passage

11/24/2003  Senate vote

11/22/2003  AHA statement on House passage

11/22/2003  House vote

11/21/2003  Nov. 21 letter to the House and Senate supporting the conference report on H.R. 1

11/20/2003  One-page Special Bulletin issued Nov. 20 with description of Medicare bill's key hospital provisions

11/19/2003  Nov. 19 AHA Advocacy Update calling for bill's passage




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