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Democrats Slam New Medicare Drug Plan


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Atnevon

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- Republicans in Congress put the pharmaceutical industry in charge when they passed the Medicare prescription drug plan, New Mexico's attorney general said Saturday.

"Big corporations ... routinely use their purchasing power to drive down prices for consumers. But the Republican Congress banned our government from doing the same" by specifically prohibiting it under the Medicare plan from negotiating with drug companies for lower prices, Patricia Madrid said in the Democrats' weekly radio address.

"And rather than allowing Medicare to provide prescription drugs directly to seniors, the Republican Congress invited the health insurance industry into the process and wrote a needlessly complicated law that has confused millions of seniors and their caregivers," she said.

In addition, Madrid said, seniors are being told that if they don't sign up by May 15, "they will have to pay a complexity tax that will raise the cost of their coverage even higher."

Madrid is seeking to unseat four-term Republican Heather Wilson in New Mexico's 1st Congressional District, which has been in GOP hands for decades. The contest is forecast as one of the top races nationally as Democrats try to erode the Republican majority in Congress.

Madrid's campaign said she is the first Democratic challenger of this year's election cycle to have the party's national radio platform.

In her broadcast, Madrid called on Congress to require the government to negotiate with the drug companies for the lowest possible prices. And she said the elderly should be offered simpler choices between plans - including the opportunity to get the benefit directly through Medicare - and to postpone the complexity tax "so seniors aren't forced to pay higher prices while trying to figure out this complex mess."

Drug makers and insurance companies have contributed millions of dollars to congressional Republicans, she noted.

Source: TriCities.com
The sky was the color of a television, tuned to a dead channel. - William Gibson




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