Pascrell on GOP Prescription Plan: Dont Be Fooled, This is Not a Guaranteed Benefit
WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ, 8th) today issued the following statement regarding the intense debate on the House floor today surrounding, H.R. 1, the Medicare Prescription Drug and Modernization Act of 2003.
"Under the GOP plan, Medicare will deteriorate as we know it. This bogus plan is perception over reality; it will not make drugs affordable for seniors. If a senior's annual drug bill is $4,900, they would have to pay $3,500 or 71%.
"Worst yet, their bill does not contain a guaranteed benefit leaving decisions up to private health plans and leaving a huge gap in coverage that nearly half of all Medicare beneficiaries will fall into. The very integrity of Medicare will be destroyed.
"This plan would be run by HMOs and the private insurance industry. New Jersey was one of the top ten states with the greatest number of beneficiaries dropped by HMOs. From 1999 to 2003, 79,733 seniors in New Jersey were dropped by HMOs. If anyone out there has faith in the HMOs, then I have a bridge over the Tigris River to sell you.
"Don't be fooled. This is not a benefit for our seniors, this is a plan to privatize Medicare.
"These are members of the greatest generation we are talking about. They deserve a voluntary plan that provides a guaranteed benefit for all seniors at all times with a standard premium."