Jim Craig Pledges to Protect Social Security Benefits for Seniors

For Immediate Release

Contact: Jean Weinberg

603-203-8557

DO –DAMAGE CONGRESS CONTINUES TO PUT SPECIAL INTERESTS AHEAD OF SENIORS

Jim Craig Pledges to Protect Social Security Benefits for Seniors as Congress Prepares to Make Drastic Overhauls to the Program

It’s time to elect a Congress that will go to work and protect seniors and families from the culture of corruption in Washington.”—Jim Craig

It’s time to elect a Congress that will go to work and protect seniors and families from the culture of corruption in Washington.”—Jim Craig

(JUNE 8, 2006)— Jim Craig, Congressional Candidate in New Hampshire’s first district spoke to seniors earlier this week in Portsmouth about Medicare Part D and the confusing drug program. Millions of seniors across the country face unfair penalties for not meeting the Medicare Part D deadline. As Congress and Rep. Jeb Bradley (NH-01) fail to protect seniors from this risky prescription drug plan , Jim Craig pledges to protect Social Security Benefits for Seniors as Congress prepares to make drastic changes to the program

House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman Jim McCrery, R-La., told the US Chamber of Commerce earlier this week that Congress should make Social Security overhaul its top priority next year. The people spoke last year, when the move to privatize Social Security was stopped in the House.

“It is time for a Congress that will go to work and protect seniors and families from the culture of corruption in Washington,” Jim said. “This is not about politics; this is about putting the needs of seniors first. We must stop Congress from trying to privatize Social Security.”

First Jeb Bradley said he was against Social Security privatization, and then he said he was open to it. During a debate in September 2002, Bradley said, "Privatization is not the answer. We must make sure that Social Security is protected." But in a written statement in 2005 Bradley backed off full opposition to personal accounts. "Privatization of Social Security means the system is wholly administered through a private entity or corporation as opposed to public administration of the system that occurs today," he said. "We need to proceed in a deliberative manner that looks at the different options, which may include personal retirement accounts, that can enable our nation to address the looming problems facing Social Security. " [2/18/05, The Associated Press, 2/18/05 The Union Leader]

The Do-Damage Congress and Jeb Bradley continue to fail seniors and families. Jeb Bradley is at the root of the Medicare problem. In April 2003, U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) appointed Jeb Bradley as a member of his Prescription Drug Action Team to help the House pass a Medicare-prescription drug bill.

In 2003, when Jeb Bradley, George Bush and the Republican Congress designed Medicare Part D, Jeb Bradley owned over $360,000 in pharmaceutical company stock. According to his 2003 Personal Financial Disclosure report filed with the Office of the Clerk of the US House of Representatives, Bradley’s personal holdings included investments of $251,000 in Bristol Myers Squibb Company, $12,553 in Johnson & Johnson, $54,192 in Merck & Company and $46,388 in Pfizer stock.

Jim talked to seniors on Tuesday at the Senior Citizens Center at Parrot Avenue Place in Portsmouth about how they are coping with the Medicare Part D program. Millions of seniors face a minimum 7% penalty for the rest of their lives and will not have coverage until January 2007. The average premium in New Hampshire costs $24 per month. With a 7 percent penalty assessment, Part D will cost those patients an extra $40 each year. [http://www.mountwashingtonvalley.com/CDS_Subscriber/LocalNewsSUB.lasso] No action has been taken in Congress to either extend the deadline or repeal the penalty tax.

“Congress and Jeb Bradley failed seniors when they allowed special interests to corrupt the Medicare Part D legislation,” Jim said. “They failed seniors again when they failed to fix it. Before it’s too late we must protect Social Security from the same fate.”

Two weeks ago, the NH State Legislature voted down a resolution co-sponsored by Jim asking for the repeal of the Medicare Part D penalty tax. Jim Craig is petitioning Congress to repeal the Medicare Part D Penalty Tax. [View petition at www.craigforcongress.org]

Jim Craig, a life-long resident of Manchester, has represented the 9th District of Hillsborough County in the New Hampshire State House for eight years. As the Democratic Leader, Jim earned a solid reputation for working across party lines to build a lasting, bipartisan consensus that represents the mainstream values of New Hampshire residents. Jim was a co-sponsor of the bill in the NH State House that provided the guarantee that seniors who fell through the cracks on Medicare Part D would get their prescription drugs.