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The Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 added the Part D prescription drug benefit to the Medicare program. This addition, which became effective in 2006, increased Medicare program costs by more than 10 percent in order to provide, for the first time, prescription drug coverage to enrollees. Part D has since enrolled a sizeable share of elders and now pays for a large percentage of their prescriptions. Despite the program's size and importance, however, little is known about its effectiveness.
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