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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release June 29, 2000

Side-by-side Comparison of President's Medicare Prescription Drug

Benefit Versus Republicans' Private Insurance Plan

June 29, 2000

Clinton/Gore & Democrats House Republicans

Who's Covered All seniors and people with Less than half of seniors

              disabilities who lack drug    and people with disabilities
              coverage today would gain     who lack drug coverage today
              coverage under this plan.     would join the plan.

                                            "Of those who purchase Part
                                            B but do not have drug
                                            coverage, CBO assumes that
                                            46 percent purchase a
                                            qualified drug plan."
                                            [Congressional Budget Office
                                            analysis of H.R. 4680,

Does the Plan Yes.  All Medicare            No.  Assumes private
Provide an    beneficiaries would have the  insurers will volunteer to
Affordable,   option of a reliable          offer coverage and collect
Workable      benefit, including those in   premiums, which the

Prescription rural and underserved areas. insurance industry itself Drug Benefit Seniors with retiree health says won't work:

              coverage could keep it.
                                            "Private, stand-alone
              The proposal ""sets the       prescription drug coverage
              nation on exactly the         will not work.  To pass
              correct course to guarantee   legislation to provide
              that Medicare will continue   access to such coverage
              to provide first-class        would constitute an empty
              medical care." [National      promise to Medicare
              Council of Senior Citizens,   beneficiaries."  [The Blue
              5/10/00]                      Cross / Blue Shield
                                            Association Letter to
              "We applaud the President's   Senator Roth, 4/24/00] In
              strong leadership on this     addition, HIAA says that
              issue. His proposed           coverage anticipated by the
              prescription drug benefit is  Republican proposal is
              voluntary, affordable, and    'virtually impossible for
              covers all seniors through    insurers to offer to seniors
              the Medicare program."        at an affordable premium."
              Martha McSteen, National      [HIAA Release, 6/13/00]
              Committee to Preserve Social
              Security and Medicare         "HR 4680 - provides no
              [6/29/00]                     assurance to a Medicare
                                            beneficiary that her
              "The President's plan will    prescription drug needs will
              provide consistency and       be met."  [Consortium for
              stability in premiums         Citizens with Disabilities,
              regardless of region, and     6/27/00]
              predictability in terms of
              coverage." [Older Women's     "This legislation would not
              League, 6/29/00]              guarantee universal and
                                            affordable access to seniors
                                            (and is) at odds with the"
                                            principles of any meaningful
                                            prescription drug bill."
                                            [Leadership Council of Aging
                                            Organizations 6/21/00]

What Do       No deductible, 50 percent     Benefits would vary from
You Get       coinsurance up to $5,000 in   plan to plan.  "Standard"
              costs when phased in.         option has a deductible of
              Out-of-pocket spending        $250, a 50 percent copayment
              limited to $4,000             up to $2,100 in costs.
                                            Out-of-pocket spending
                                            limited to $6,000

How Much Does $26 per month in 2003 for     Premiums would vary from
it Cost       all participants              plan to plan.  Average of
                                            $39 in 2003 -- 50 percent
                                            higher than the President's

What is the Value of coverage in 2003: Value of coverage in 2003:

Value of      $835                          $670
Coverage                                    Seniors would pay more 50
                                            percent more for a benefit
                                            that is 20 percent less

Do Seniors    Plans:  Yes.  In              Plans:  Yes, but only if
Have Choice   fee-for-service, managed      private insurers participate
              care, or retiree plans if
              eligible                      Drugs:  No.  Beneficiaries
              Drugs:  Yes.                  would only be able to access
              Doctor-prescribed drugs are   certain drugs through an
              guaranteed without going      appeals process
              through insurer or managed
              care plan                     Pharmacies:  No.  Insurers
              Pharmacies:  Yes.  All        could restrict participating
              local, qualified pharmacies   pharmacies
              would be accessible

Start-Date    2002                          2003

Takes         Yes.                          No.

Solvency &

Who Supports  Virtually all major           Drug companies and their
              representatives of seniors    allies
              and people with disabilities