On Friday, July 13, President George W. Bush visited the JHMI campus to give an address promoting his Medicare reform plans. Bush had unveiled his new drug discount plan for Medicare beneficiaries the previous day at a ceremony in the White House's Rose Garden.
Bush, making his first public appearance in Baltimore since taking office, was accompanied by Tommy Thompson, secretary of health and human services.
Shortly after his arrival at 2 p.m., Bush was given a brief tour of a laboratory at the Wilmer Eye Institute where Morton Goldberg, institute head and the William Holland Wilmer Professor and director of Ophthalmology at the School of Medicine, demonstrated the latest in retina screening technology.
Bush delivered his speech in the hospital's Hurd Hall, where university President William R. Brody, Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley, and representatives Elijah E. Cummings and Robert L. Erlich Sr. joined Hopkins physicians, nurses, administration and other invited guests.
Bush and Thompson were joined on the stage and introduced by Edward D. Miller, CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine and dean of the medical faculty. Miller acknowledged what a banner day it was for Hopkins, as that morning U.S. News and World Report's hospital rankings were released, giving JHH the top position for the 11th consecutive year.
In a 12-minute speech, Bush told the audience of the pressing need to make Medicare relevant today. "As innovations occur in the health care area, Medicare is stuck in the past," he said.
"And so, in the Rose Garden and here again at Johns Hopkins," he said, "I call upon the Congress to work with the administration to modernize Medicare, to make sure the Medicare system reflects the great hopes and promises of the health care in the 21st century."
For the full text of Bush's speech, go to http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2001/07/ 20010713-7.html.