10/29/03 2:13:00 PM
To: National Desk - Contact: Ilana Sabban of the Alliance for Retired Americans, 202-974 8264, e-mail:
firstname.lastname@example.org Web: http://www.retiredamericans.org
WASHINGTON, Oct. 29 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Following is a statement by Edward
F. Coyle, executive director, Alliance for Retired Americans:
"In his remarks today, President Bush proved once again that he is looking
out for the profits of the pharmaceutical and insurance industries instead of the health care of seniors. What the administration
and Congressional conferees are supporting will increase premiums and result in the loss of benefits for millions of retirees.
"The prescription drug benefit being debated in conference committee will
force Medicare to compete with private insurers, the first step toward privatization of Medicare. When the president says
he's offering seniors choices he means the choices of HMOs and PPOs, and we have seen private insurers fail seniors before.
"Rather than using the power of the government to lower the skyrocketing
costs of prescription drugs, the President wants to use the power of the government to help his pharmaceutical and insurance
industry friends make more profits.
"The Alliance for Retired Americans, which represents 3 million retirees,
has long fought for a prescription drug benefit for seniors under Medicare. We oppose this legislation because it privatizes
Medicare, has huge gaps in coverage, threatens employer-provided retiree coverage and does nothing to bring down prescription
drug prices. The administration and Congress should be working to provide seniors with a prescription drug benefit under Medicare
that is affordable, universal, comprehensive and voluntary.
"The Alliance still believes no bill is better than a bad bill. The president
says we are almost there. We believe we still have a long way to go."
Money for nothing
reforming Medicare raises Big Pharma's profits at cost of seniors' lives
The complete article is currently (3/31/04) available on the Working
for Change website at-- http://www.workingforchange.com/ [found through a Google search by article title on the date above]
Let's review. Why was legislation offering drug benefits needed in the first place? Because for America's growing number
of people facing serious health issues while on fixed incomes, the cost of prescription drugs is an urgent crisis that continues
to worsen daily. ...
Why is the cost of prescription drugs such a crisis, and why are America's drug costs so much higher than those in other
industrialized countries? Largely because drug companies are run by heartless greedy bastards, and our health care system
allows -- no, encourages -- their worst tendencies.
So how has President Bush "fixed" this problem?
By pushing hard for, and then signing, marginally beneficial legislation that will cost taxpayers $400 billion -- some
$139 billion of which, over one third, will go directly into the profit-laden pockets of those same drug companies. ...
This is a bill designed to raise reelection money for George Bush, at the expense of seniors' lives.
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