For Immediate Release
Contact: Jean Weinberg
CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE JIM CRAIG CALLS ON JEB BRADLEY TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR HIS ROLE IN FORMING
THE MEDICARE PART D PRESCRIPTION DRUG BILL
(July 25, 2006)— Today, Congressional Candidate Jim Craig demanded accountability from Jeb Bradley for his role in helping create the confusing, risky Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Program. Rep. Jeb Bradley was a member of the failed Prescription Drug Action Team that drafted the legislation and was a co-sponsor of the risky Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Bill .
In a report released today, Medicare Part D is fueling big pharmaceutical companies that are benefiting from new prescriptions and higher prices for medicines. The number of prescriptions has risen 3 percent this year and growth accelerated in June to more than 5 percent, according to a report from Merrill Lynch. [“Big Drug Makers Post Profits That Beat Forecasts,” New York Times, 7/25/06]
“Jeb Bradley is working for prescription drug companies, not New Hampshire’s families,” said Jim. “Congress and Jeb Bradley failed seniors when they allowed special interests to corrupt the Medicare Part D legislation.”
Drug makers have also increased prices for many popular drugs and are paying rebates to the private insurers who run the Medicare Part D program that are lower than the 15 percent rebates they paid to Medicaid. [ “Big Drug Makers Post Profits That Beat Forecasts,” New York Times, 7/25/06]
Millions of seniors are facing a minimum 7% penalty for the rest of their lives and will not have coverage until January 2007. Since the May 15th deadline, n o action has been taken in Congress to repeal the penalty tax.
In May, 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, candidate for Congress in New Hampshire’s First District, is a lifelong resident of New Hampshire and his roots in the Granite State stretch for five generations. As a veteran of the US Army, he worked for his law degree with the help from the GI Bill and joined his family's law practice. For over 20 years, he has promoted the health and well-being of families by serving on non-profit community boards. He was elected to the New Hampshire State House in 1998 and now serves as Democratic Leader. 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.
ABOUT MEDICARE PART D
Details about Medicare Part D, co-sponsored by Rep. Jeb Bradley and enacted on November 22, 2003:
· Gives away $139 billion in new profits for drug companies
· Gives away $46 billion to private insurers
· Prevents the re-importation of less expensive drugs from Canada and other countries
· Prohibits the government from negotiating drug prices with manufacturers
· Reduces coverage for some people whose drug costs are now paid by MedicaidJEB BRADLEY’S RECORD ON MEDICARE PART D
Jeb Bradley named to the Prescription Drug Action team by Speaker Dennis Hastert (April 11, 2003)
Jeb Voted for the GOP Medicare Prescription Drug Bill.
The bill made sweeping changes to Medicare that will give billions of dollars to businesses and the health care industry, while forcing seniors to accept annual increases in premiums and deductibles and a growing gap in coverage for the prescription drugs they buy. The bill passed the House 220-215 and was signed into law. (HR 1, Vote #669, 11/22/2003)
Jeb voted against allowing the Department of Health and Human Services to directly negotiate lower drug prices with pharmaceutical companies. (HR 1, 11/22/03, #688)
Jeb voted against easing restrictions on the re-importation of drugs from Canada, which would have provided a cost saving to American seniors. (HR 1,11/22/03, #688)
Jeb Voted For Sham Prescription Drug Bill.
This prescription drug plan pushes seniors into HMOs, has no limits on premiums, and contains a massive gap in coverage that will still cost many seniors thousands. The bill passed 216-215. (HR 1, Vote #332, 6/27/2003)
Jeb Voted Against Changing Medicare Part D
This measure would have established a $100 yearly deductible and $25 monthly premium, to cover 80% of all drug costs between up to $2000, and all drug costs above that level. Instead, Bradley voted to create a program with a $2800 "doughnut hole" and only 95% coverage for expenses above $5100. (HR1, 6/27/03, #330)