WASHINGTON – House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) released the following statement at a rally with other Members of Congress and seniors in opposition to the Republican prescription drug bill that the president signed into law today:
“We are here today to send a very simple message: seniors are angry. Seniors are angry at Congress and the President for failing to fulfill their promise.
“We promised seniors that we would provide them with a guaranteed and universal prescription drug benefit under Medicare. And did the Republican Congress follow through on that promise? No!
“But President Bush and Republican Leaders did follow through on their promise to their friends in the pharmaceutical and insurance industries. They prohibit negotiations for lower drug prices. They provide a $12 billion slush fund to subsidize insurance companies. They give over a quarter of the bill – more than $100 billion – to employers, to the wealthy, and to insurance companies.
“And what did Republicans give seniors? They gave them a confusing and inadequate drug benefit that seniors have rejected from coast to coast. Is it any surprise that the benefit doesn’t kick in until after the next election?
“Democrats fought very hard to fulfill our promise to seniors and we aren’t done yet. Democrats still have a lot of fight left in us. And with seniors at our side, we will right the wrong that was done to seniors with this bill.”