Bass and Bradley on Medicare Rx Drug Plan

press@nhdp.org

This morning's Concord Monitor had a handy sidebar comparing
what Congressmen Bass & Bradley said about the Medicare
prescription drug plan back when they voted for it - and what
they are saying now that it is causing serious headaches and
potentially costing the state hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Here it is:

CONCORD MONITOR, 1/11/05:


IN LATE 2003, Congress passed legislation creating a prescription
drug benefit for people 65 and over. When the program, known as
Medicare Part D, started last week, glitches kept hundreds of local
seniors from getting their pills. Here's what New Hampshire's
congressmen have said in the past and their reactions to the recent
troubles:

*** REP. CHARLIE BASS: Voted for the legislation. ***

NOVEMBER 2003: "This bill will provide prescription drug
coverage at little or no cost to lower income seniors and provide
substantial relief for those with very high drug costs. It will also
help speed generic drugs to market and provide incentives to
encourage employers to maintain existing retiree benefits."

NOW: "The auto enrollment process for the Medicare
Prescription Drug Benefit has failed many of its neediest
beneficiaries."

*** REP. JEB BRADLEY: Co-sponsored the legislation. ***

NOVEMBER 2005: "This is a major step forward in helping
senior citizens live independent healthier lives. It's going to
give the average person a significant enhancement in terms of
their ability to afford medications."

NOW: "While it is important to make sure that seniors have
access to prescription drugs through Medicare, it is also critically
important that CMS immediately resolve billing issues so that
Medicaid-eligible seniors continue to have access to needed
prescriptions."

[the article included quotes from Senator Gregg and Senator
Sununu as well, but since both have been consistent in their
opposition - and because the article is not online - only Bass &
Bradley's comments are included in this excerpt]