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2003 Ron Paul Chapter 21

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HON. RON PAUL OF TEXAS
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

February 13, 2003
Support Medical Savings Accounts for Medicare


2003 Ron Paul 21:1
Mr. Speaker, I rise to introduce legislation that enhances senior citizens’ ability to control their health care and use Medicare money to pay for prescription drugs.  This legislation accomplishes these important goals by removing the numerical limitations and sunset provisions in the Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSAS) program so that all seniors can take advantage of the Medicare MSA option.

2003 Ron Paul 21:2
Medicare MSAs consist of a special savings account containing Medicare funds for seniors to use for routine medical expenses, including prescription drugs. Seniors in a Medicare MSA program are also provided with a catastrophic insurance policy to cover non-routine expenses such as major surgery. Under an MSA plan, the choice of whether to use Medicare funds for prescription drug costs, or other services not available under traditional Medicare such as mammograms, are made by seniors, not by bureaucrats and politicians.

2003 Ron Paul 21:3
One of the major weaknesses of the Medicare program is that seniors do not have the ability to use Medicare dollars to cover the costs of prescription medicines, even though prescription drugs represent the major health care expenditure for many seniors.

2003 Ron Paul 21:4
Medicare MSAs give those seniors who need to use Medicare funds for prescription drugs the ability to do so without expanding the power of the federal bureaucracy or forcing those seniors who currently have prescription drug coverage into a federal one-size-fits-all program.

2003 Ron Paul 21:5
Medicare MSAs will also ensure seniors access to a wide variety of health care services by minimizing the role of the federal bureaucracy. As many of my colleagues know, an increasing number of health care providers have withdrawn from the Medicare program because of the paperwork burden and constant interference with their practice by bureaucrats from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (previously known as the Health Care Financing Administration). The MSA program frees seniors and providers from this burden, thus making it more likely that quality providers will remain in the Medicare program!

2003 Ron Paul 21:6
Mr. Speaker, the most important reason to enact this legislation is seniors should not be treated like children and told what health care services they can and cannot have by the federal government. We in Congress have a duty to preserve and protect the Medicare trust fund and keep the promise to America’s seniors and working Americans, whose taxes finance Medicare, that they will have quality health care in their golden years.

2003 Ron Paul 21:7
However, we also have a duty to make sure that seniors can get the health care that suits their needs, instead of being forced into a cookie cutter program designed by Washington-DC-based bureaucrats! Medicare MSAs are a good first step toward allowing seniors the freedom to control their own health care.

2003 Ron Paul 21:8
In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to provide our senior citizens greater control of their health care, including the ability to use Medicare money to purchase prescription drugs, by cosponsoring legislation to expand the Medicare MSA program.



















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