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Kaptur statement on Bush Administration’s Claims about Medicare Drug Plan enrollment

Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-9) released the following statement on Dec. 22 in response to the Bush Administrations “misleading” claim that more than 21 million seniors and people with disabilities will get prescription drug coverage beginning January 1, 2006. 


But by the Administration’s own estimates, only 1.5 million people out of the nearly 20 million, who need prescription coverage, will be signed up by the end of January—a clear demonstration that seniors and people with disabilities are having great difficulty navigating the confusing new law. 


The statement follows:


“The Bush Administration is misleading the American people instead of offering real solutions to help seniors navigate the confusing Medicare prescription drug plan.   Inflating the numbers to hide the problems with an overly complicated drug plan is no way to start off on an already flawed policy.  The Administration is simply taking credit for 20 million beneficiaries who are already covered or automatically enrolled in prescription drug coverage. 


“While I have always supported Medicare as an important lifeline for seniors and the disabled, I did not support this particular legislation rushed through by the Republican majority and the White House at the urging of the pharmaceutical industry.  It does nothing to lower the exorbitant prices of prescription drugs, yet it provides windfall profits to those very drug companies.  This prescription drug plan has a huge hole in coverage right in the middle that is going to come out of the pockets of our seniors in additional premium costs.


“I have supported efforts in the House to give beneficiaries an additional six months to choose a plan and to allow the federal government to negotiate for lower drug prices.  In the meantime, the Administration should stop inflating the numbers to hide the problems with this confusing drug plan.  I’d encourage the White House to spend more time solving the problems and less time spinning this flawed plan.  We can do better by America’s seniors.”







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