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The Democratic Party:
The Party That Created Medicare
For America’s Seniors
The Bush Administration Betrayed America’s Seniors:
Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit An Empty Promise
Democrats Created And Defend Medicare For America’s Seniors. Bush Delivers Empty Medicare Promise. Democrats Created And Defend Medicare For America’s Seniors. Bush Delivers Empty Medicare Promise.
In 1965, over 80% of House and Senate Democrats voted to create the federal Medicare program for our nation’s seniors. Only 50% of Republicans voted for Medicare; many Republican leaders including Senator Bob Dole voted against it. Long before the 1960’s and all the way since, the Democratic Party leadership has created and provided programs – such as Medicare – Americans need for basic well-being.
According to a 2000 CNN article, “President Clinton, who had offered Republicans a deal to boost the drug coverage in exchange for tax cuts elsewhere, said, ‘the bottom line is their plan is designed to benefit the companies who make the prescription drugs, not the older Americans who need to take them.’"
In 2003, over 80% of Republicans supported the Bush Administration’s corporate-written Medicare prescription drug plan that places our Seniors prescription drug benefits into the hands of private pharmaceutical companies. This corporate-written plan doesn’t guarantee pricing, prohibits Medicare from negotiating best prices for medicines, and doesn’t guarantee necessary drugs will be or remain on any government-subsidized plans. The Bush Administration’s Medicare Prescription Drug Plan is made possible through disenfranchising America’s Seniors while enriching the pocketbooks of Bush’s campaign contributors.
In contrast, 80% of Democrats rejected this shameful campaign blowback that transfers Medicare’s prescription drug plan to private companies.
[Legislative History: Vote Tallies for Passage of Medicare in 1965; “House Passes GOP Prescription Drug Bill,” CNN, 6/28/03; “Senate Passes Medicare Bil,l” CNN ‘Inside Politics.’ 11/25/03; “Arm-twisting Wins 220-215 Medicare Vote,” Washington Times, 11/23/03]
“These [Medicare] reforms are the act of a vibrant and compassionate government."
George W. Bush, CNN, 12/8/03
That’s what Bush said. It’s not what his Medicare prescription drug plan does.
How Bush’s Medicare Drug Plan Betrays America’s Seniors How Bush’s Medicare Drug Plan Betrays America’s Seniors
Democrats Defend Seniors' Medicare Program Democrats Defend Seniors' Medicare Program
· 80% of Democrats Rejected Bush Administration Gift to Pharmaceutical Industry. Republicans? Over 80% of Them Supported Bush’s Gift to Pharmaceutical Industry
Republicans overwhelmingly supported the Bush Administration’s corporate-written prescription drug bill. In the Senate, 80% of Republicans supported Bush’s bill and 84% of House Republicans voted to support privatizing Medicare’s prescription drug coverage. In contrast, 80% (190) of House Democrats and 80% (35)of Senate Democrats voted to reject privatizing Medicare’s prescription drug plan. [“Senate Passes Medicare Bill,” CNN ‘Inside Politics,’ 11/25/03; “Arm-twisting Wins 220-215 Medicare Vote,” Washington Times, 11/23/03]
Kerry’s Compact with the Greatest Generation: Affordable Prescription Drugs Kerry’s Compact with the Greatest Generation: Affordable Prescription Drugs
John Kerry’s “Compact with the Greatest Generation,” guarantees Seniors the protection they’ve earned – and deserve -- for Social Security and Medicare. John Kerry will helps seniors afford their medications as well as long-term care.
JOHN KERRY: CHOOSING SENIORS OVER PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES JOHN KERRY: CHOOSING SENIORS OVER PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES
John Kerry will fight to allow Medicare to negotiate better prescription prices he’ll also fight to allow reimportation so seniors can get safe, affordable prescriptions. Kerry will strengthen drug coverage – not make it worse. He will also make sure seniors can choose their doctors and won’t be forced to join HMOs.
RE-IMPORTING PRESCRIPTION DRUGS RE-IMPORTING PRESCRIPTION DRUGS
A recent study found prescription drug prices in Canada were 33% to 80% cheaper than prices for the same drugs in the U.S. The U.S. pharmaceutical industry charges Americans the highest prices for prescription drugs in the world, while reaping record-breaking profits. George W. Bush’s priority is guaranteeing profits for pharmaceutical companies, not helping Americans to be able to afford necessary, even life-saving medicines.
John Kerry’s Priorities:
o Allow Re-importation: Give Americans Access to Cheaper Drugs. Re-importation is the practice of importing prescription drugs originally manufactured in the U.S. and exported for sale in another country. Most often, Americans re-import drugs by filling their prescriptions in Canadian or Mexican pharmacies, either in person, or through mail-order or Internet pharmacies. John Kerry will allow individuals, pharmacists, wholesalers, and distributors to reimport FDA-approved prescription drugs at lower prices.
o Call on Bush Administration to Help States Start Re-importation: Despite obstacles raised by the Bush Administration, several state Governors are working to make re-importation available. For instance, it’s estimated the state of Illinois can save about $91 million through reimportation. John Kerry is calling on George W. Bush to immediately approve state pilot programs to help re-import quality drugs. In addition, Kerry says Bush should direct theFDA Commissioner to provide guidance to states to assure they set up a safe re-importation system, including a state-sanctioned website, a phone number(s), and identifying necessary safety precautions.
NO ‘SPECIAL INTEREST’ PROVISIONS: MEDICARE CAN NEGOTIATE PRESCRIPTION PRICES NO ‘SPECIAL INTEREST’ PROVISIONS: MEDICARE CAN NEGOTIATE PRESCRIPTION PRICES
Seniors often pay higher drug prices because they lack leverage to negotiate more affordable drugs. President Bush’s Medicare program expressly prohibits the government from negotiating for lower drug prices on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries. Why? This is a special interest provision to increase pharmaceutical industry profits. As President, Kerry will ensure the government can negotiate lower prescription drug prices for America’s seniors. Kerry will:
o Change the Law so Medicare Can Negotiate Better Prices. John Kerry believes seniors should not pay the highest prices just so pharmaceutical companies can make higher profits. He will change the Medicare program so the Federal government can negotiate better prices for prescription drugs.
o Direct HHS Secretary to Assure Medicare Gets Discounts in Every Part of the Country. When dealing with the pharmaceutical industry, Medicaid gets a “set discount” of about 20%, and the Veterans’ Administration program negotiates discounts of about 40% discounts on prescription drugs. As President, Kerry will direct his Secretary of Health and Human Services to make sure all U.S. seniors receive at least the 20% discount and Medicare does not pay more than the private sector in any region of the U.S.
HELP STATES NEGOTIATE DISCOUNTS ON PRESCRIPTION DRUGS HELP STATES NEGOTIATE DISCOUNTS ON PRESCRIPTION DRUGS
Americans without drug coverage pay at least 50% more for the same medication as their insured neighbors because they do not get the benefits of bulk purchasing. Some states have tried to extend the same discount for Medicaid patients, only to have the Bush Administration join the pharmaceutical industry to fight these efforts. As President, John Kerry will help states to provide bulk purchasing discounts for Medicaid patients. Kerry will also give states incentives to implement more efficient contracting to obtain better rates for prescription drugs.
DISCLOSE EXCESSIVE PROFITS OF PHARMACY “MIDDLEMEN” DISCLOSE EXCESSIVE PROFITS OF PHARMACY “MIDDLEMEN”
Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) process hundreds of millions of pharmaceutical claims per year and manage drug benefits for more than 200 million Americans. In addition to bulk purchase discounts drug manufacturers typically pay PBM’s billions of dollars in extra fees. For example, drug companies pay extra to ensure their products get on formularies, for financial rebates (to assure they get a higher market share), and extra money for assembling data to help drug companies exploit consumers. PBM’s receive huge profits, but they don’t pass profits on to make drugs cheaper. John Kerry’s plan requires PBM’s who do business with the Federal government to clearly show profits they are receiving.
“My dad was a member of the Greatest Generation that achieved victory in World War II. This was the generation that saved the world from fascism, came home and built the great American middle class, led the way in the civil rights movement, protected our environment, and created great programs like Medicare.”
Democratic Presidential Nominee John Kerry
“And now that the Greatest Generation is getting older, I think it is the responsibility of all Americans to make sure we do our part for America’s seniors. You have earned the best of America – and we need to make sure you get the protection and health care you deserve. . .
“That’s why … I’m unveiling a new Compact with America’s Seniors that will be a building block for the initiatives seniors can count on . . . My Compact with America’s Seniors says that Greatest Generation seniors should be able to count on Medicare and Social Security, on affordable prescription drugs, on quality options for long-term care. You’ve earned it.”
Democratic Presidential Nominee John Kerry
The Democratic Party:
The Party That Created Medicare For America’s Seniors
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