'Republican Medicare Bill Signing a Historic Mistake'
D.C. -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following
statement today on the President signing the Republican Medicare
bill and on Democratic legislation being introduced today to reverse
the prohibition on the federal government negotiating for lower
prices for drugs:
morning, the President declared the signing of this bill to be a
historic event. It was -- a historic mistake.
Bush and the Republicans in Congress missed a historic opportunity
and rammed through a cruel hoax that does nothing to reduce the
high costs of prescription drugs. In fact, this lemon of a law actually
prohibits the federal government from negotiating lower drug prices.
of putting seniors and the disabled first, this Republican legislation
puts the special interests of HMOs and big drug companies first,
giving $139 billion in windfall profits to drug companies and creating
a $17 billion slush fund for HMOs.
of a guaranteed, defined benefit under the trusted program of Medicare,
this Republican hoax tries to destroy Medicare with a voucher program
that pushes seniors into HMOs.
"Americas seniors deserve a better bill; this Republican
hoax is a bitter pill.
Democrats are taking the first step toward improving this bill.
House and Senate Democrats are introducing legislation to reverse
the unconscionable prohibition on the government negotiating for
lower prices for drugs.
of Veterans Affairs currently has the authority to negotiate with
drug companies to obtain lower prices for the prescription drugs
purchased as part of the VA healthcare system. This negotiating
authority has been hugely successful in bringing down the cost of
drugs purchased by the VA. We need a similar system for Medicare.
deserve a defined, guaranteed prescription drug benefit under Medicare.
And we wont stop fighting until we get it."