By Jim Martin
Washington, DC — President Bush met with over 200 senior citizens in the East Room of the White House this afternoon, among them many members of the 60 Plus Association, including my favorite senior, my mom, Mary Martin Solliday. The President’s remarks came on the 38th anniversary of the passage of Medicare, July 30, 1965.
“President Bush campaigned in 2000 for reform of Medicare, proclaiming his solid support for a long overdue prescription drug benefit that would provide options and choices for seniors. And the President stated in a video tribute to the 60 Plus Association’s recent 10th Anniversary dinner, ‘Medicare is the binding commitment to a caring society.’ 60 Plus vigorously applauds President Bush for campaign promises made — and campaign promises he clearly plans to keep.
“I was Chief of Staff in the mid-sixties for a member of Congress, Edward J. Gurney (R-FL) who voted for Medicare; it took bi-partisan support to pass Medicare and as per the President’s remarks today, it will certainly require bi-partisan support once again to reform the program.
“As Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson said at the same anniversary dinner for 60 Plus noted above, Medicare was passed at a time when Julie Andrews won an Oscar for her starring role in the movie “The Sound of Music”. So I’ll jump-start your memory for music, too: The Rolling Stones topped the charts with “Satisfaction” that year, while the Beatles came in second singing “Help.” Well, forgive me, but the President’s plans for Medicare reform include plenty of “Help” for seniors’ all across America, seniors’ that seek some “Satisfaction” to their increasing prescription drug costs.
“We implore the Congress to pass Medicare reform, including a prescription drug benefit, recognizing that music has changed, movies have changed but Medicare is still the same.”