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CLINTON CALLS FOR CHANGES TO MEDICARE DRUG LAW

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton recently called on the Bush Administration to explain to New Yorkers why so many of them will be losing prescription drug coverage thanks to the President's Medicare Prescription Drug law. According to documents just released by the Department of Health and Human Services, seniors across the country who currently receive drug benefits through their employer will lose it in 2006 when the new law takes effect. Many of those will be New Yorkers because a large number of employers in the state provide prescription drug benefits for seniors.

"This new data from the Bush Administration proves what many of us have said all along this bill was a Trojan Horse for our seniors. It looked good on the outside, but it wrapped a skimpy drug benefit around fundamental changes that under mine Medicare and the current coverage that many seniors already rely on from their employers, "Senator Clinton said.

"The greatest injustice here is that we could have lowered the number of seniors who will lose coverage, but the Congress instead chose to spend $12B on a slush fund for private insurers, and $6B dollars on tax breaks that will undermine insurance coverage beyond Medicare."

HHS reports that 3.8 million Medicare beneficiaries will lose coverage, more than 1 million more than what the Congressional Budget Office projected previously. Many of those seniors are likely to be in New York because a large number of employers I the state provide prescription drug benefits for their seniors.

Senator Clinton added, "If President Bush can't explain why this is a fair tradeoff then he should return to Congress with a real prescription drug benefit rather than the bogus bill he worked night and day to get passed."

"I went to the floor of the Senate during debate on this bill and raised this very concern - this bill causes retirees to lose benefits they currently have. And over half of them have incomes below $30,000. Because of the legislation pushed by President Bush and supported by this Congress, the Bush Administration now tells us millions of seniors will be forced to accept a skimpy drug benefit instead of their more generous employer plans. This breaks faith with our seniors and we should repeal this legislation."



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