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WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today after President Bush refused yet again to extend the Medicare Part D enrollment deadline for seniors in a speech in Orlando:
“Every April 15th millions of Americans ask for an extension on their taxes, saying they need more time to navigate our complicated and confusing tax code. We ought to extend the same opportunity to seniors who are trying to navigate the confusing and complex prescription drug program.
“Lagging enrollment figures are not due to procrastination by seniors, as the Bush Administration implies. Rather, the low numbers are due to the Republicans’ choice to create a confusing program that benefits insurers and drug companies rather than a simple program for seniors.
“I was pleased to see that low-income seniors would not be penalized with higher premiums for missing the deadline. Yet these are not the only seniors struggling to navigate the enrollment measures, and all seniors deserve more time to make this important decision about their health care needs.
“Democrats have been calling for months to extend the enrollment deadline and it is not too late for Republicans to join Democrats in acting to protect seniors from this ‘senior tax.’