Pascrell Calls Medicare Bill a Special Interest Sham
WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ, 8th) issued the following statement on the Conference Report on H.R. 1, the Medicare Prescription Drug and Modernization Act.
"The backers of this bill are telling seniors to settle--settle for the crumbs, while the special interests get fat on cake.
"It doesn't lower prices of prescription drugs because it prohibits the government from negotiating costs.
"It privatizes Medicare making seniors pay more to keep the Medicare they know and trust, inevitably pushing seniors into HMOs.
"It places profits before seniors, with over $20 billion in slush fund money for private insurance companies."
"The Republican bill will destroy a trusted program in exchange for a feeble prescription drug benefit where seniors pay $4,000 out their first $5,000 in drug costs.
"Instead of lining the pockets of insurance companies, the money should be used to deliver a real benefit that maintains Medicare's promise to senior citizens. There is nothing wrong with attempting to compromise. But it is absolutely wrong to settle on the backs of our seniors."