The text of the bill below is as of May 11, 2006 (Passed the House).
HRES 802 EH
Whereas Medicare now offers a prescription drug benefit for its beneficiaries, known as Medicare Part D;
Whereas more than 35,900,000 Medicare eligible individuals are receiving prescription drug coverage, of which there are more than 27,000,000, including a substantial number of low-income and minority beneficiaries, receiving coverage through the new benefit;
Whereas 8,100,000 beneficiaries have enrolled in stand alone Medicare prescription drug plans;
Whereas estimates indicate that the average beneficiary will save more than $1,100 this year alone by enrolling in a Medicare prescription drug plan;
Whereas the average monthly premium for enrolling in a Medicare prescription drug plan is now just $25 per month, which is far below the initial estimate of $37 per month;
Whereas recent surveys of Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare prescription drug plans indicate that beneficiaries are satisfied with their coverage;
Whereas advocacy groups including the AARP, National Alliance for Hispanic Health, the National Medical Association, and the National Council on Aging have all sponsored enrollment events designed to encourage eligible beneficiaries to enroll in Medicare prescription drug plans;
Whereas Area Agencies on Aging, State Health Insurance Programs (SHIPs), and other local and community organizations are available to provide seniors with assistance and answer their questions about how to select the Medicare prescription drug plan that best meets their needs;
Whereas pharmacists are on the front line in delivering prescriptions to Medicare beneficiaries and continue to be instrumental in providing valuable information and assistance about the new benefit;
Whereas in recent months Members of Congress have hosted hundreds of events and the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and other Administration officials have sponsored thousands of outreach and enrollment events, to educate seniors regarding the new prescription drug benefit;
Whereas the deadline for enrollment in the new prescription drug plan without being subject to any late enrollment penalty is May 15, 2006; and
Whereas editorial writers and opinion leaders across the nation have recognized the importance of an enrollment deadline because it encourages beneficiaries to make a decision about enrolling: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the House of Representatives encourages all Medicare beneficiaries who are not yet enrolled in Part D to review carefully all of the options that are available to them and to determine whether enrollment in a Medicare prescription drug plan best meets their current and future needs for prescription drug coverage.