Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Minority of Senate Blocks Vote to Allow Medicare to Negotiate Lower Drug Prices


AARP: 'Senators should know this issue is not going away. No amount of campaign money can trump the will of 90 percent of Americans.'

WASHINGTON, April 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AARP released the following statement today, disappointed by a minority of the U.S. Senate that refuses to allow a vote on legislation that could help lower prescription drug costs for millions of Medicare beneficiaries.

Despite the support of a majority of the U.S. Senate, and nearly 90 percent of voting-age Americans, S. 3, The Medicare Fair Prescription Drug Price Act of 2007, was blocked from coming up for a vote on the Senate floor today.

"Allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices is common sense, and could have led to more affordable drugs for Medicare beneficiaries and lower costs for all taxpayers," said David Sloane, AARP Director of Government Relations. "Instead, a minority of the Senate decided to block consideration of a bill that has the support of the vast majority of their constituents. Given the overwhelming support for giving Medicare the power to negotiate, the will of the people will eventually be heard."

Sloane continued, "Pharmaceutical manufacturers have given more than $20 million in campaign contributions for the last two cycles alone. They followed that up over the last few months with misleading polling and disinformation aimed at scaring older Americans into preserving the exorbitant profits that pharmaceutical companies make on brand name drugs. Senators should know this issue is not going away. No amount of campaign money can trump the will of 90 percent of Americans."

Last week, AARP alerted Senators that the association is recording key votes on S. 3 and will be informing its members of how their Senators voted.

Despite the outcome in the Senate today, prescription drug affordability remains a high priority for AARP and its members. The association will continue to fight to make prescription drugs more affordable for all Americans. While millions of older Americans and persons with disabilities have been helped by Medicare part D drug plans, more should be done to put downward pressure on drug costs. AARP will continue to support legislation that would allow Americans to safely and legally import lower-priced prescription drugs from abroad, and legislation to help bring generic drugs to market sooner, including generic versions of biologic therapies. AARP is also working to pass legislation that would reduce the asset test that prevents low-income people from qualifying for extra help under the Medicare drug program.

1 Comments:

Blogger T.C. said...

This is a perfect example of who really runs the government. We live in a representative democracy alright -- it represents, as Ralph Nader has rightly observed (and been pilloried for in the corporate-controlled mainstream media), "their corporate paymasters".

With political campaign costs now running into the hundreds of millions(!) of dollars, such corruption of our government will only continue to increase. Whether it be the pharmaceutical companies dictating drug policy, or the big defense contractors peddling their useless cold-war weaponry resulting in a bloated defense budget that is out of any proportion to the defense budgets of the rest of the planet, this fundamental corruption of our government has resulted in it acting without the consent of the governed.

"...When a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government..."

-The Declaration of Independence

1:58 PM  

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