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
02/01/2006 Tools for Health Care Professionals to Ease the Transition to the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit
- Letter to Health Care Professionals
- Tools and Formularies List
- Part D Formulary Information for Physicians
12/18/2003 View AHA's summary of the legislation
11/23/2003 AHA statement on Senate passage
11/24/2003 Senate vote
11/22/2003 House vote