Hoyer: Administration Plan on Rx Drugs Would Undermine Medicare

WASHINGTON - House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) released the following statement today in response to news reports that the Administration is planning to propose a plan that would force Medicare beneficiaries to join private health plans to obtain prescription drug coverage:

"Medicare is one of the most successful programs in American history.  Republicans opposed its creation.  And their hostility to Medicare continues today.

"The Bush Administration is preparing to roll out a plan that would force Medicare beneficiaries to join private health insurance plans to obtain coverage for prescription drugs, according to press reports today.  That is simply a transparent attempt to escape from the GOP's promise to provide real prescription drug coverage for seniors.

"One-third of Medicare's 40 million beneficiaries have no prescription drug coverage at all.  Democratsbelieve we must add a meaningful prescription drug benefit to Medicare that is universal, affordable, guaranteed and voluntary.  The GOP cannot drag itself to admit that Medicare has been a success.    Republicans have the deluded belief that private insurance drug-only policies will work, even though private insurers say they have no intention of offering such policies.

"Democratslook forward to engaging in this debate in Congress."

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