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OCTOBER 29, 2003
12:23 PM
CONTACT:  Families USA
Kelly Schwinghammer (202) 628-3030
President Must Abandon Partisan, Ideological Plan Designed to Privatize Medicare
WASHINGTON - October 29 - Ron Pollack, Executive Director of Families USA, released the following statement today about the President's White House event this morning concerning the need for Medicare prescription drug Legislation:

"With the prices of seniors' prescription drugs rising at an unaffordable rate of three-and-one-half times inflation, President Bush is calling on Congress to complete work on a Medicare prescription drug bill.

"But a white House photo-op won't get the job done. To succeed in enacting Medicare drug legislation, the President and Congressional leaders need to abandon the partisan, ideological plan adopted in the House of Representatives that would privatize Medicare.

"Private health plans refuse to serve seniors in rural areas and they abandon communities deemed unprofitable. These plans 'cherry pick' and fail to serve seniors with health problems. They often restrict seniors' choices of doctors and hospitals. And, because of marketing expenses, agents' fees, profits, and larger administrative costs, these private health plans are far more expensive than traditional Medicare.

"It therefore makes no sense - and will be unacceptable to America's seniors - to privatize the Medicare program.

"Until the President and Congressional leaders drop the privatization proposal, Medicare photo-ops will be a waste of time."


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