An Rx for the Modification of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003: Toward a Reform with Results

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The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (MPDIMA) represents the most significant overhaul of the Medicare system since its creation. For many individuals, the legislation represents progress towards providing America's seniors with an optimal degree of outpatient prescription drug coverage. However, despite the new benefits MPDIMA creates, a more thoughtfully-crafted version of the legislation could provide more expansive, less expensive coverage for a greater number of Medicare eligible seniors. This article begins with a brief overview of the Medicare system prior to the passage of MPDIMA. Next, it highlights several key sections of the legislation and outlines specific areas that Congress could modify to provide greater value to both taxpayers and Medicare enrollees. Finally, the article discusses cost-containment strategies to fund the effort to provide a more substantial and effective Medicare prescription drug benefit.


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