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Special Event

Bush Touts Medicare Plan in Florida

Aired October 7, 2000 - 9:13 a.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LINDA STOUFFER, CNN ANCHOR: George W. Bush is campaigning across Florida today. We want to give you a look now at live pictures out of an event he is holding right now in Florida.

We'll let you listen in now.

GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: ... that meets your needs better, that you ought to be allowed to access that plan instead of the current system, that we'll help you pay for that plan instead of the current system.

Here's my -- let me see if I can simplify this. You can stay in Medicare the way the government runs it, all 132,000 pages of docu -- of bureaucracy. Or you can pick and choose a plan. Either way, you're going to get your Medicare benefits paid. Either way, the government will help you. And either way, you're going to have two other things, one, prescription drugs, and a catastrophic stop-loss, which the system does not have.

One of the things seniors worry about is losing it all in one year because of unexpected medical bills. We must have a catastrophic stop-loss plan.

And here's the difference. My opponent's plan takes eight years to get fully in effect. If you're sign up at 64 1/2 you're in, but if you don't, it's sign up for 64 1/2. That's once the program gets going, you don't get to get back in. It's a one shot.

There is a difference. He has no stop-loss for all medical costs, and I do. We're going to have an immediate helping hand as well. This may take about two years to get in place, because it's going to require some legislation. In the meantime, I'm going to ask Congress to provide $48 billion for immediate help to low-income and moderate-income seniors, so they don't have to make the tough choice in prescription drugs.

STOUFFER: Listening to Republican George W. Bush at a campaign event in Florida, talking about the differences he has with Democrat Al Gore on what to do about Medicare. Florida, of course, has a Republican governor George W. Bush knows very well, Jeb Bush. The state was considered to be in George W. Bush's column for quite a while. It is now considered a toss-up state as this presidential campaign heads towards the election, just about a month away from now.

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