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Mar 24, 2005
CONTACT: Jerry Flanagan, (310) 392-0522 ext. 319
Bush Ignores Medicare Reforms In Favor of Social Security Deform;
Wall Street and Drug Company Campaign Contributors To BenefitSanta Monica, CA -- The Bush Administration ignored a report released yesterday by the trustees of the Social Security and Medicare programs which found that Medicare's financial outlook is much worse than that of Social Security because those conclusions are contrary to the political goals of President Bush's biggest contributors, according to the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR).
Instead of supporting cost-saving changes to the Medicare prescription drug program opposed by the drug industry, such as bulk discount negotiation, the Bush Administration has seized on a plan to turn future Social Security funds over to Wall Street investment houses. President Bush received $801,512 from the pharmaceutical manufacturers and $12,778,606 from securities and investment firms since 2000. Bush Administration officials are now touring the country promoting the president's plan to privatize the Social Security program.
"President Bush is creating a political diversion while his drug company and Wall Street contributors pick the pockets of the nation's poor, disabled and elderly," said Jerry Flanagan of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights. "Prescription drug bulk purchasing could save the Medicare program more than $100 million over the next ten years, but the president and Congress refuse to support any changes opposed by the prescription drug industry."
New legislation, U.S. Senate bill 239, would allow Medicare to negotiate bulk discounts for prescription drugs - a strategy similar to that used by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to achieve discounts of up to 70% or more off retail prices. President Bush and Congress banned bulk negotiation in the original Medicare prescription drug bill under pressure from the drug industry. Senator Grassley (R-IA), chair of the Senate Committee on Finance which has jurisdiction over Senate Bill 239, has received more than $150,000 from drug manufacturers since 2000.
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The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) is a nonpartisan consumer advocacy organization. For more information, visit us on the web at http://www.ConsumerWatchdog.org
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