Keeping a Campaign Promise: George W. Bush and Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage (Epilogue) Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

In January 2003, President George W. Bush is finalizing an innovative proposal for Medicare, the federal health insurance program for the elderly. Under the plan, Medicare will offer a new major benefits: Prescription drug coverage, long-awaited, but elusive goal for the elderly and their lawyers. By any measure, this might seem surprising initiative coming from politically conservative White House. If approved by Congress, the benefit will be the largest expansion of Medicare, or any federal law since its adoption 40 years ago. But Bush's proposal also represents a departure from the popular public insurance program - is aimed to introduce market forces into Medicare by encouraging beneficiaries to enroll in a government-subsidized private health plans that would compete directly with the traditional government-run, fee for service program. Drug benefits would be the main motivation for the elderly to make the transition to private plans. For Bush, the stakes were high. During the 2000 presidential campaign, he promised to restructure Medicare and add prescription drugs. In an effort to deliver on that promise, Bush put his Medicare proposal at the top of his domestic agenda for 2003. Even with its emphasis on market-based solutions, the plan will have to win the conservative Republicans who opposed the concept of expanding the already huge and costly government programs, especially in times of severe budget deficits. This was probably also get the cold shoulder from most Democrats, who viewed competition in the private sector, as a first step in the elimination of Medicare as the right program. Republicans took over the first time in decades, the Republican Party is controlled not only the White House but both houses of Congress as well. HKS Case Number 1870.1 "Hide
by Esther Scott, Roger Porter 3 pages. Publication Date: 03 Oct 2007. Prod. #: HKS209-PDF-ENG

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Keeping a Campaign Promise: George W. Bush and Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage (Epilogue)

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